God Time September 11-15
Monday September 11
19 Moses gave you the law, but none of you obeys it! In fact, you are trying to kill me.”
20 The crowd replied, “You’re demon possessed! Who’s trying to kill you?”
There are two ways to look at law. One is laws are trying to stop us from doing what we want to do.
Smoking laws are the most notorious for that. Now there is even evidence that the research used to declare second-hand smoke dangerous was seriously flawed and more recent research is calling into question the danger of second-hand smoke. Well whether there is validity to the most current findings or not, good luck changing anything. Light up a cigarette now, and in some places, you might as well be a serial killer. We aren’t smoking in most public places any time soon.
But, then there are laws that really do protect and everyone would agree, like speed limits for dangerous roads. But, people still want to do what they want. There is a road in Alaska that is especially dangerous and people weren’t paying heed to the signs. So, they put up more signs hoping drivers would at least slow down to read them.
Like signs that show man-eating mosquitoes in the area. Watch out for moose trying to ruin your car. Watch out for falling coconuts. And my favorite, 13 mph, radar enforced.
But that is the way laws go. Are they there to stop us from doing what we want to do or or they there to really protect us? Consider the law of Moses that God gave. Jesus is showing how there are two completely different attitudes to the law of Moses. Jesus is still pointing back to when he healed the disabled man at the pool and was accused of breaking the sabbath law.
What is the purpose of God’s law? Is it to stop people doing things they want to do or is it to enable people to do and be what God wants them to do and be?
What are some laws you think are foolish?
Tuesday September 12
21 Jesus replied, “I did one miracle on the Sabbath, and you were amazed. 22 But you work on the Sabbath, too, when you obey Moses’ law of circumcision. (Actually, this tradition of circumcision began with the patriarchs, long before the law of Moses.) 23 For if the correct time for circumcising your son falls on the Sabbath, you go ahead and do it so as not to break the law of Moses. So why should you be angry with me for healing a man on the Sabbath? 24 Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”
The Sabbath laws the Jewish leaders are referring to are later laws developed by rabbis to help explain what is considered work and what is not. These are not laws that are specifically in the Bible.
So, Jesus is pointing out that the Jewish leaders are in support of working on the Sabbath when it fits their agenda. In order to keep the circumcision law, for instance, they are willing to overlook the work. The law says a boy is to be circumcised on the eighth day after birth, and even though circumcision is considered work, it’s OK even if it is on the Sabbath day.
In other words a Sabbath law is broken in order to keep one tiny part of a baby boy’s body
in line with God’s will, but healing a whole body on the Sabbath is not in line with God’s will?
The Jewish leaders are using certain parts of the law to prove they really are faithful to God even when they break other parts of God’s law. Best evidence of this is they are trying to kill Jesus without proper evidence and trial. In other words, they want to knock him off. They are ready to break one law in order to uphold another. How can this be what God wants?
What are some Christian traditions that aren’t in the Bible but people hold them as holy and important?
Wednesday September 13
25 Some of the people who lived in Jerusalem started to ask each other, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26 But here he is, speaking in public, and they say nothing to him. Could our leaders possibly believe that he is the Messiah?
27 But how could he be? For we know where this man comes from. When the Messiah comes, he will simply appear; no one will know where he comes from.”
Some of the people are immediately playing the demon card with Jesus. Just accuse him of being in line with Satan and then you don’t have to deal with what he is actually saying. Hmm, sound familiar?
But, others are wondering why Jesus isn’t immediately arrested. Do the Jewish leaders actually believe he is the Messiah, and are allowing him to teach publicly? Then they show they are misunderstanding him in the first place because they know where he comes from and if they know where he comes from he must not be the Messiah. This is their way of thinking. Even though the Old Testament, their Bible, does tell them where the Messiah is to come from. Directly from King David. You can trace the lineage of Jesus if you simply look. The Messiah will be no secret.
What are some ways Christians might show they want another Messiah besides Jesus?
Thursday September 14
28 While Jesus was teaching in the Temple, he called out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I come from. But I’m not here on my own. The one who sent me is true, and you don’t know him.
Yes, they know where he comes from, Galilee, but do they really know where he comes from? Who sent Jesus? God of course. So, it’s not just that they think they know Jesus but they don’t, it is that they don’t even know God. Jesus is saying here they don’t know God.
This is what happens today. So many people think they know Jesus and they draw conclusions because of this that are actually against the ways of God.
For example, so many people today speak for Jesus when Jesus doesn’t speak for their viewpoint. Take today’s debate about children who came to the United States without proper credentials, the “Dreamers”, as they are called.
Whenever you hear someone say, “Well, of course Jesus would be in favor of this political cause….” Run.
Wait a minute, didn’t Jesus say, “Let the little children come to me, and forbid them not?” Well, yes, he did, but I don’t think he was speaking specifically to the government of the United States concerning of immigration law in the 21st century. When I hear church leaders use this logic I cringe.
Interesting to me that the same people who use this as a support for “Dreamers” never use it concerning abortion legislation. You know, “Let the little children come to me, and forbid them not?”
And when you hear people say, “Jesus is loving and so he would approve anything you want as long as you do it for love.” Run away.
We don’t own Jesus and we don’t speak for him when it comes to specifics in legislation, and we don’t speak for him when it comes to trying to get our own personal moral agenda a approved-by-Jesus stamp.
Think about it. Some say the so called Dreamer Act is loving and of course we should approve it. But others say it isn’t loving. Not if it impacts those people who have been trying to come into our country legally. Fairness is loving, too, isn’t it?
You see, whether this is a good thing or not the greater issue is when you draw conclusions because of what you want and then you tack the name of Jesus on it, this shows you don’t know God in the first place.
We have to be able to understand the ways of God and the ways of our world, and only by looking at Jesus is that going to happen. We don’t take what we want and then try to find a way for Jesus to approve it. We trust in Jesus and learn more and more from him in order to let him guide us to live like he wants even if it isn’t what we want. Especially if it isn’t what we want.
It starts with Jesus, because he knows God. We don’t.
What have you heard people say about what Jesus wants that you question is what he wants?
Friday September 15
29 But I know him because I come from him, and he sent me to you.”
Jesus knows God. And Jesus says God is sending him to us. So, how are we going to know Jesus? What is our plan to get to know Jesus better? Each of us is living our lives following some kind of way.
Is it simply going by our gut instincts? This may work for some decisions, but is this what we want when we raise children or the way we treat our co-workers? Is this what I want at the end of my life when my body is wearing out and I am thinking about my future does my hope come from just going by my gut?
Of course not. We have the model and teachings of Jesus to inform us. And the way he designs it is for us to learn about him together with other people. You see, alone I am never hearing a different perspective than my own; never getting another perspective if my understanding of Jesus is accurate in the first place.
And without spending time with other Christians, without worshipping with them, studying with them, living out my faith with them, am I just creating my own Jesus and following what I think he wants because it is what I want? And when I am alone and discouraged I am not being loved and encouraged. The less I am with other Christians the more I am tempted to follow my own way, which will eventually bring failure, and the more lonely and isolated I will be.
One of the leading influences on the alarming increase of depression today, is we don’t have many face-to-face relationships with others who care for us. We aren’t spending enough time with people who love us. Especially love us with the love of Jesus.
God is sending Jesus to you. How are you receiving Jesus? It matters for more reasons than you can imagine.
What do you want Jesus to know about how things are gong for you today? Let him know…