Wednesday, December 2, 2009
i've been mulling this over for a couple of days now. i really want to dig deeper into all the people that surrounded Jesus during His time here on earth and started back in matthew. here, i come across john the baptist. what stuck out to me was Jesus wanting to be baptized by John but John denying Him. i read in some other commentaries that john had never met Jesus before and this is the moment that john recognized that this was the Messiah before the Spirit of God descended upon Him. when john says, "'i am the one who needs to be baptized by you,' ... 'so why are you coming to me?'" john had a feeling that this was Jesus. and after Jesus was baptized, the Spirit of God descended like a dove and settled on Him, this clinched it. this was the Son of God! but check this out, when we turn to matthew 11:1-3.
some people believe that john sent his disciples to ask Jesus if He was really the Messiah they've been expecting or wait on someone else for his own knowledge and satisfaction. to strengthen his faith. some believe that he sent the disciples so that they can see for themselves Jesus and His miracles. i'm going to go with option c, that john wanted to know for himself and for his disciples that Jesus was indeed the Messiah. john was in jail. and if i was in jail and going through all that he was going through, my faith would be shaken as well. i would be scared out of my mind! i would want to know for sure if Jesus was the Messiah, the person i've been waiting for my entire life! but we can see here a little bit of ourselves. john recognized and knew that he was meeting Jesus the first time He met Him and was sure of it when the Spirit of God descended on Him. weren't we all like that at some point? when we first met Jesus, and our faith was new and strong, we had no doubt that this was the Son of God, the man who would set us free from our old lives. but when times get rough, we start doubting. our faith is shaken. we have to go "send our disciples" to see if Jesus is really who He says He is. we want to be sure again. i see so much of myself in john. at one point, i'm so sure that God is real in my life, and when times are rough, i start questioning and doubting and i need reassurance. but we can rest assured in this. when thomas finally believed that Jesus rose from the dead.
29 Jesus said, “So, you believe because you’ve seen with your own eyes. Even better blessings are in store for those who believe without seeing.”
Sunday, November 15, 2009
Friday, November 6, 2009
this passage has been coming back to me again and again and just yesterday, one of the high schoolers' friends told him that when he looks around and sees wars, famines, hurt, pain, and suffering, and thinks that if there is a God, he's not impressed. i've been thinking about it, and if anything, i am not only impressed when i think about God, but i'm utterly and completely grateful. from creation to the fall to redemption and soon restoration, i am astounded at this God. think about this, our God created the world, the field in the parable. He wanted us to grow and be fruitful, the wheat. but an enemy came in and sowed weeds among the wheat, the devil sowing evil, destruction, suffering. can't He just pull up the weeds from the field? of course He can. He can. but He chooses not to. because if He pulls out the weeds, He pulls out the wheat as well. the weed is so intertwined with the wheat that for Him to kill the weeds, He would end up killing the wheat. of course, at any time, God could remove pain, suffering, and evil from the world, but we're so intertwined and connected to it that if He did, He would have to erase us as well! now we think, how could God let this happen?? how could He let the enemy plant all of this evil in the world? the thing is, He didn't. we let it happen. we said, "ok, give us the apple." and we fell. hard. out of our free will, we let sin take over the world and now we're stuck in this mess. but the story doesn't end there, God not only withholds pulling us all out of the world, but sends His son to save the world so that we can be made right with God! and He continually waits for us to come to Him and experience His love. if you're not impressed by that, i don't know how to impress you.