Saturday, September 9, 2023

Sincere Faith

Greg recently shared with me that he was enjoying the fact that Jesus referenced two stories from the OT when He was giving a sermon. We were discussing the implications of sharing a story with in a story. I got all excited! I asked Greg to learn all three stories so I can post them, but then this sent me on a search to know more about this moment and it's significance. Oh boy, was I ever so richly blessed.

First, this was Jesus' first sermon written about by Luke and it happened when He visited His hometown. 

I love that Jesus stood to read and sat to explain the Scripture.

In this short passage, Jesus quotes three different OT passages and one proverb (not in OT). He quotes a prophecy about Him by Isaiah, and references the ministry of two respected prophets (Elijah and Elisha).

The people at first celebrated His graciousness, but they quickly turned fickle and sought to throw Him off a cliff. They liked Him until He pointed out that they needed to have a sincere faith and that God uses unlikely people. He wasn't going to do miracles for them because their focus wasn't in the right place or rather person. 

There are habits we need to recognize about Jesus that we should also live by.

1. It was His habit to go church on the Sabbath even while traveling. 
2. It was His habit to read, share and explain the Scriptures.
3. It was His habit to quote the OT. He knew it well.
4. It was His habit to preach the truth.
5. It was His habit to seek people of sincere faith. 

Notice how He calmly walked away when they tried to throw Him off the cliff.

Please understand that the people would have known well the story of Naaman and the widow of Zarephath. 

Jesus' one sentence reference would have conjured in their minds quickly the story and how in both cases the prophet of God ministered to the person that showed sincere faith. All of them would known immediately that both Naaman and the widow of Zarephath were NOT JEWS! The prophets were ministering to non-Jews or Gentiles because they were who showed sincere faith.

Jesus was declaring that He was taking the GOOD NEWS to the Gentiles. This is why they were mad! 

Jesus wanted to reach you and me! Now that is GOOD NEWS! 

Oh, there is always so much more in the story than we realize. 

It is so important to be in the Word so we can be with Jesus and be transformed. 

Shalom y'all.

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