Posts Tagged ‘knowledge’

The heart of the Sabbath

February 17, 2016

Are we really ready to trust in God and rest in His provision for us. (John 5: 1-30, also Mark 2)

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How God longs for us to come to Him, to be healed from our sin and to rest in His provision for us. In this encounter with the invalid man, Jesus probes not only the heart of that man but also the hearts of the Pharisees and through this passage preserved for us to read – our hearts as well.

To the invalid man, he asks what could seem to be an unnecessary question, “Do you want to be healed?” We are apt to think, of course the man wants to be healed, isn’t that why he is there at the pool? But after all these years of waiting, is it still in his heart to desire healing, or after all this time, has he resigned his heart to never being healed or perhaps he has gotten to the point where he is used to being taken care of and may not want a real change in his life, would he rather be in a place where he would complain about his situation or would he rather be able to take responsibility for his life?

And there is also the question for us: are we ready for God to change us? If God were to heal us of a sickness in our body or our spirit: What vulnerabilities would we feel if the sickness or bitterness or whatever is troubling us is taken away? What changes would have to happen in our lives or what changes would have to happen in our attitudes if we no longer could hide behind our disability? What self-righteousness would we have to let go of to let other people see a change in me? Are we ready to trust Jesus to change us?

It seems that Jesus was also thinking of the Pharisees reactions when He instructed the invalid man to not just “get up and walk”, but to “get up, pick up his pallet and walk”. He knew that when the man would be seen carrying his pallet that the Pharisees would notice and would verbally protest about “working on Sabbath” but in their hearts they would also protest Jesus’ authority which would be validated by the healing. Taking the offense, Jesus further challenged them by not only clarifying His relationship with the Father but by also outrightly accusing them of not believing in Him.

That leaves questions for us: Are we putting our trust more in Scriptures than in the one who gave us the Scriptures? Are we seeking more to know about God or to know God Himself? Are we ready to trust Him, rest in Him and  accept His authority over us?

Making sense of the Riddle

January 20, 2016

 It’s not the shadows in the daylight that frighten us (Luke 8 ) 

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When we look at the world now, there are some things that we all now can only see dimly (1 Cor 13:12; Lit. in a riddle). When God has chosen to reveal things to us, we have better understanding of the spiritual activity that is happening around us; however, when things are hidden from us, that spiritual activity can be frightening. As Jesus was preparing to head to Jerusalem to encounter the powers that be and to encounter his great suffering, he was allowing his identity and his power to become more visible. People reacted differently to that display of power depending how much light they were seeing.

On one side, Jesus spoke to the crowds in parables so that “though seeing, they may not see; though hearing, they may not understand.” On the other side, Jesus spent time explaining the parables to the disciples  because they had been given the “knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of God.” Though even in this case,  the disciples did not comprehend everything that Jesus said because things were still hidden from them (Luke 10:21; 18:34).  In this short passage in chapter 8, there are a few different responses to the power of Jesus:

  • When the disciples witnessed Jesus calming the storm they asked, “Who is this?”
  • When Jesus cast the demons from the man in the Gerasenes, the people in the town became fearful at what they saw.
  • When Jairus’ daughter was brought back to life, Jairus and his wife were astonished
  • When a women touched the edge of the cloak, her faith healed her

When we see the power of Jesus, what is our response?


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