Week 13 Recap: Days 73-78
Devotion by: Keith Harcombe
These passages narrate one of the seven miracles that Jesus did on the Sabbath (Saturday). The indignation of the synagogue leader is what strikes me the most here. It seemed that abusing the Sabbath had become more important than the miracle that Jesus performed. The rule, the ritual or the regulation had become enslavement and led to missing what was happening. Regardless of the leaders’ indignation, Jesus broke people out of that box, and the “people rejoiced at the wonderful things he did.”
Jesus gives us a description of the Kingdom of God (KoG). It is narrow and starts small. But when something is small and moves around, it infiltrates everything. Clearly, in the KoG, it doesn’t matter how big of a person or faithful giant you are, some who seem the least important now will be greatest in the KoG. It is the small faith that matters most as it rubs-off on those around you especially if it is in the name of the Lord.
The KoG is also about being a person who is humble, not looking for the best seat at the party, but about a person who is comfortable with themselves when honored for being unpretentious. We must be careful whom we invite to the table as well, here there is no need for Biblical interpretation; the text is pretty clear. Invite the poor, the disabled, the lame and the blind.
Crowds are deceiving. There were three types of people with different relationships to Jesus. There were those who were actually followed Jesus, there were those who followed what was #trending (Pharisees and Sadducees), and there were those who heard there was free food! One’s relationship to Jesus is vitally important to why we follow Him. A litmus test perhaps is to ask ourselves; is my life “salty”? Is it good for those who have ears to hear?
If we are living a “salty” life, perhaps we will avoid tempting others to sin. We often fall into the morality trap with these verses, telling ourselves “if I don’t do this or that I’ll be fine.” Actually, it is because of our relationship with Jesus that we will desire to be “salty” and not tempt others. When we are successful in leading others to a relationship with Jesus our trumpet sound should only be “I am an unworthy servant.”
The KoG looks like trusting in Jesus who holds the key to life and death. This physical resuscitation of Lazarus points emphatically to the resurrection of Jesus. A man was dead and now brought to life, those that witnessed it believed in Jesus.
Overarching message for this week.
In my early years as a Jesus follower, I would often confuse being a good follower with being moral and looking like I had all my stuff together. It has taken me this long in life to realize that the type of relationship I have with Jesus will show the KoG to others. My relationship with Jesus should incorporate humility, rejoicing in what only God can do, delighting in small beginnings, and sharing it with others. Make no doubt about it, it is a narrow path, but it is the most glorious and best way to live our lives.