Today’s Reading: Matthew 8:5-13; 11:7-15; 12:22-42; Mark 3:20-30; Luke 7:1–8:3
God never gets it wrong (as is proved in today’s reading)! 1 Corinthians 1:27 (NLT) – “But God has chosen what the world calls foolish to shame the wise. He has chosen what the world calls weak to shame what is strong.” And so it begins with the centurion who has a slave whom he is concerned about (is that God’s love shining through him?) and I suspect the centurion’s faith comforted Jesus’ sad and lonely heart (?) but I also suspect that the centurion’s sense of unworthiness, like what I am struggling with, often saddens His great loving heart – how could I ever be considered unworthy when He gave His ALL for me? – the thought often moves me to tears!
And then a widow, whose hope is completely gone, has her son restored to her – what a trail of compassion and blessing, Jesus leaves in His life! Do I? Are you and I, like the people filled with a sense of awe and praise?
Does Jesus care for faltering John the Baptist (and me too!)? Surely so! I am comforted so many times in life as He Himself, points out such plain and stark proofs of His presence about me! But I hope I take heed to Jesus’ warning when He does not do the things I think He should do for me, “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” (!)
But Jesus does have praise for John, but criticism for the Pharisees and “experts” of the law – no repentance on their part!
But there is a sinful woman of the city who is so deeply touched by Jesus – there is no awareness of what other people think, only a deep emotional response to the Saviour (I covet her heart!) for I am probably sitting often in the presence of my lovely Saviour without any sense of what is so rightfully due to him. But Jesus protects the woman and sets things straight! – peace and freedom for the woman but for Simon – only frustration?
Women ministering to Him in love, and Pharisees accusing Him of using Satan to cast out Satan! As for the Pharisees, I have yet to see from my personal experience of sometimes being a Pharisee – when is one ever logical according to God in that position?! Please Lord, help me not to SCATTER or BE AGAINST You – even when I am unaware of what I’m doing!
And when so completely blasphemed against, Jesus humbly accepts it, but not the fact of saying the Holy Spirit’s power was the power of Satan. Then on top of everything else – being counted crazy by His own family! (?) Is there no limit to what You must suffer, my precious Saviour?!
No need for proof – it’s all around us, seen by those who are pure-hearted enough to search for Him! And if I try on my own strength to clean up things, the end result is always disaster – that’s why Jesus came to SAVE!
But the ending is beautiful to today’s reading – how to be associated with Jesus in the closest of relationship and how to shine for Him! It seems to me now, that nothing else is worthwhile in life (or without it, nothing is)! In Peter’s words, I whisper lovingly (John 6:68 NLT) “Lord, to whom would we go…?” A good question – the ultimate question!