Thursday October 22 2015

130801-dailydevovisuals-thurs

Scripture: Matthew 12:15-21

Key verse: (15) “ When Jesus became aware of this, he departed. Many crowds followed him, and he cured all of them,”

Reflection: To understand verse 15 you need to read verse 14.  When Jesus became aware of what?  Verse 14 reads, “ the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him.”

So to recap: Jesus was healing on the Sabbath and got in trouble with the church authorities (when you read Pharisees know that is Bible talk for Presbyterian or Baptist or Episcopalian) and his response to such hatred was to depart (v 15).  This is the second time he’s done that in the Gospel of Matthew when confronted. The first time he departed was back in chapter nine.  Here’s the fun part though. When he departs it is not with his tail between his legs, rather, when we find him after departing, our stubborn Savior is still healing people! And still on the Sabbath!!  Some people just don’t know when to quit.

Jesus’ actions here could be taken as a license to be rebellious, to rail whenever we can against rules and authority (especially when we are in disagreement with that rule or authority). But is that what is happening here? Jesus spoke repeatedly of wanting to fulfill the law rather than abolish it. But what Jesus understood and explained to the teachers of the law (verses 1-14) was that the law was there for us, we are not here for the law. Jesus doesn’t seem to hesitate to break a law (in the authorities’ opinion) if it means not breaking a person.

The word doctrine is a dry and dusty church word, if I have ever heard one, but the origin of the word is also where we derive the word doctor. Doctrine comes from a word meaning to teach, to mend, to restore.  As I heard one Christian scholar put it “Doctrine is healing teaching.”

Jesus didn’t set out to challenge authority, he set out to heal, nourish, love and save this world that God so loves.

If it is that kind of love that is going to get us in trouble, then so be it.

Prayer: For Jesus’ desire to love and heal this world, we praise you, Lord. May we be quick to join and grateful to receive this ministry. Amen.

Author: Derek Macleod

[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].

One thought on “Thursday October 22 2015

  1. Derek-Every time I read one of your devotions, I feel like I am being preached to about the need to accept the ideology/theology/new doctrine of acceptance of the homosexual condition as a “God-given” gift to a certain number of individuals who were “born this way”. Today , I read the scripture that you have chosen and have elaborated on and it reads like one of those paintings the famed painter Escher created. If you are not familiar with his work, I have lifted a short synopsis from Wikipidia about him:

    “Escher’s first print of an impossible reality was Still Life and Street, 1937. His artistic expression was created from images in his mind, rather than directly from observations and travels to other countries. Well known examples of his work include Drawing Hands, a work in which two hands are shown, each drawing the other; Sky and Water, in which light plays on shadow to morph the water background behind fish figures into bird figures on a sky background; and Ascending and Descending, in which lines of people ascend and descend stairs in an infinite loop, on a construction which is impossible to build and possible to draw only by taking advantage of quirks of perception and perspective.”

    As I read your devotion today, I see an inverted version of what I believe your devotion is trying to convey to me and it completely brings me to the opposite conclusion of what I know you believe about the issue of homosexuality! It is absolutely remarkable to me that completely opposite positions or belief can be taken from the same analysis of this scripture on the subject/condition of same-sex relationships.

    So when you recap, “Jesus was healing on the Sabbath and got in trouble with the church authorities (when you read Pharisees know that is Bible talk for Presbyterian or Baptist or Episcopalian) and his response to such hatred was to depart (v 15)”, I see Sandy Weathersbee (and others of like-mindedness in the Well Sunday School Class) teaching on the Sabbath the Truth of what the Bible says about the subject of Homosexual relationships and I see the Pharisees being those you just described as running him (us) off. You could not have said it better, “If it is that kind of love that is going to get us in trouble, then so be it.”
    Respectfully submitted (because I love those we leave behind too much to depart silently),
    Clark Neilson

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