2007-09-29 - The Prayers of Christ
Author's Note: Beginning on October 4th, I will be taking a brief sabbatical. During the month of October, you will be blessed by the devotionals of our sub writer Lisa.
Matthew 6:20-26 (NIV) Then Jesus began to denounce the cities in which most of his miracles had been performed, because they did not repent. 21 "Woe to you, Korazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. 22 But I tell you, it will be more bearable for Tyre and Sidon on the day of judgment than for you. 23 And you, Capernaum, will you be lifted up to the skies? No, you will go down to the depths. If the miracles that were performed in you had been performed in Sodom, it would have remained to this day. 24 But I tell you that it will be more bearable for Sodom on the day of judgment than for you." Rest for the Weary 25 At that time Jesus said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. 26 Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.
Isn't that just God's way? Instead of revealing His lifegiving message first to those with status in the religious community, those who truly understood His message were the humble and simple. As He often does, God turned things topsy-turvy. Throughout the Bible, we see this pattern.
When it came time to lead His people through the trying years in the desert, God didn't choose a confident leader. He chose someone who would never be elected at the polls, a stuttering, insecure Moses.
When choosing a scribe for some of the most influential books of the New Testament, and a leader for a leader in his church, God didn't choose someone who thought he was infallible, nor "evangelists" or talk show hosts who would spout catchy pltatitudes that would be repeated by "fans" and celebrities, and sell books; rather, he chose Paul, who humbly admitted that none of us are infallible, and that he himself wrestled with sin continuously.
When He sent His son to purchase the salvation of those who would believe, God didn't give Him a mother who was on the social register; Jesus was born to a simple pleasant, the wife of a carpenter. And He wasn't born in a state-of-the-art Obstretics unit; Mary gave birth among the animals.
God isn't impressed at all by who wins a (non)"reality show" game, who is the best athlete or who earns the most money. Rather, His word teaches us that what pleases Him is a contrite spirit, something that's in short supply these days.
Let's see if we can get our own values more in line with God's, instead of the world's.
Comments or Questions?