Jesus is many things to me. He is a teacher and a leader. Jesus is Lord and the Messiah. Most importantly, Jesus is my savior.
Jesus suffered and died for sin. It is through Jesus I find forgiveness for my sins. Jesus also understands suffering. I find great comfort in knowing that.
The other day, I was reading Matthew 15:21-28.
21 And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyreand Sidon. 22 And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” 23 But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.” 24 He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” 25 But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.” 26 And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.” 27 She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.” 28 Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly. (ESV)
I started thinking about the Jewish society of that time. It was extremely prejudicial, and a person’s worth or cleanliness was largely based on race and ethnic origin. As a Canaanite and a woman, she would have been viewed with disdain. Also, the statement made by Jesus echoes that sentiment.
However, the woman trusted Jesus. She believed him to be fair and loving. She trusted him to not judge her based on superficial things. Her trust in the love of Jesus was not misplaced. Jesus healed her daughter and commented on her great faith.
He put another parable before them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven is like a grain of mustard seed that a man took and sowed in his field. It is the smallest of all seeds, but when it has grown it is larger than all the garden plants and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and make nests in its branches.” (ESV)
God understands human frailty. God uses our faith and efforts to change the world, even if our faith is small. With God, great things can come from a little faith.
I just finished reading “The Walk” by Stephen Smallman. The book was easy read, yet full of valuable information. It is designed to help people learn how to be a disciple of Christ.
A few of the main points:
- A disciple is a follower of Jesus, not just in word, but in action as well.
- The local church is essential for spiritual support, education, and direction for serving others.
- Salvation comes when we repent and have faith in Jesus. We turn away from our sin and turn toward Jesus.
- We are justified or declared righteous by God and our sins are forgiven.
- Sanctification is the work of God in us. We are renewed in the image of God and strive to reject sin in favor of righteousness.
This book is a great resources for new believers or those who want to know more about Christianity.
In Matthew 18:15-35, Jesus teaches his followers about forgiveness. When I was reading this passage I thought of Dylan Roof.
The family members of those murdered by Dylan Roof, spoke of their hurt and the pain he caused by taking away their loved ones. However, they also offered forgiveness.
This is a great example of how forgiveness works in the real world. Dylan Roof was forgiven, but he will still pay for his crimes. He still owes a debt to society and will be punished.
Dylan Roof may never feel remorse for his actions, but the willingness to forgive still benefits the family members. It allows them to let go of the hate and anger they feel inside of them. The family members are free to heal, because of their willingness to forgive.
Forgiveness can be difficult, but it can also bring healing.
In Matthew 11:20-12:21, we learn Jesus is Lord of the Sabbath and he wants to offer rest for our weary souls. All we need to do is follow Jesus.
Rest is often undervalued in our society. There is so much to do at work, at school, and our options for entertainment are phenomenal. Granted entertainment is fun, but it can also prevent us from getting the rest we need.
Jesus offers us spiritual rest. We can trust in his acceptance and forgiveness. He invites us to destress our souls and spend quite time with him in worship, prayer and meditation. He wants to help us overcome our anxieties and our fears.
We know rest is important and we know the consequences of not getting enough rest.
- Increased risk of disease
- Decreased ability to function
- Decreased ability to focus
- Increased aggression
Make rest a priority in your life and you will notice the difference.