Today’s Reading: Matthew 21:20-22, 28-32, 42-46; 22:1-33, 41-46; 23:1-39; Mark 11:20-33; 12:1-9, 28-37, 41-44; Luke 20:9-16, 20-26
I suspect that I am like the disciples were when they saw the fig tree withered up – surprised – when I read that any mountain (of a problem) can be removed with a prayer of faith without doubt. But I also noticed with curiosity (not quite sure I understand the reason for it?) the requirement of not holding anything against anyone when praying the prayer of faith! So do I?
It seems as if often I find that Jesus gets to the root of the problem in my life, when I question Him – revealing where the real problem is – but the result because of lack of honesty is that the answer is not told them! So does Jesus withhold the needed answers which I need to know because I am not really being honest with Him! I think He loves to be asked questions, but it must be with an honest heart!!!
The parable of the two sons gives me hope! I am sure I am like the first son! And I sure am thankful for His grace which gave me “a changed mind!” (most of the time?)
Parables of murderous tenants and a wedding banquet show how this world has rejected not only God’s rights as “owner” of this world, but also His giving “the great invitation to the wedding supper.” Not sure if I understand why the rejection by the various ones, but find it curious that the tenants thought if they killed the son, they would get the vineyard and the man who thought he really didn’t need the wedding garment! This kind of weird thinking leads to disastrous results! So it is disastrous to reject God’s stone (Jesus) and I certainly find it marvelous that now He is God’s corner stone in God’s building of which we are a part, don’t you?
I love the way Jesus answers the tricky questions of the Pharisees and the two other groups with a simplicity that is impossible to refute! Why were they having to pay taxes to Caesar anyway? Why was God – the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob if they were dead! The truth is that they weren’t and aren’t! And Jesus never lets us off with just loving Him and not caring for those around us! But it was impossible for them to answer Jesus’ question of why an honoured ancestor like David would call his descendant “lord” except if that descendant was greater than David – indeed the Messiah! Are you listening with delight too, like those of old, as you see Jesus quietly answering these tricky questions and proposing His own irrefutable penetrating questions!
Interesting as Jesus, one by one, condemns what is objectionable to His Father and instructs the disciples (and us too) to holiness, honesty and humility and to be like Himself – He points to a position “of being the servant of all.” Certainly not a persecutor of those attempting to speak for God!
Again today we end off the day with the beautiful story of someone who in simple faith and devotion was “not giving out of her wealth…but out of her poverty – giving all – all she had to live on.” Never having sacrificed everything, on reflection, I am humbled by the devotion of someone who would quietly offer her all to God or Jesus! No doubt others didn’t notice, because He had to call His disciples over to tell them – but be assured that when we are willing to give “all” (whatever that is?), it certainly hasn’t escaped His notice! So what are You calling on me, Lord, to give to You? What is it that I hold on to so dearly and tightly that it can be described as “my wealth?”