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Thursday, December 10, 2009

A Little Confusing

The steam pouring from my ears over the past few days seems to be dissipating a little. It's amazing what a block can be thrown up when stress surrounds you. It's hard for me to pray or read and get any kind of meaning when I let stress get ahold of me.

Anyway...God is merciful in that Jesus intercedes for us on our behalf when we can't or don't know how to say the right things to get us through whatever it is we are going through (Romans 8:34).

Chapter 10 was a little hard to get for me. It's packed full of Jesus' directives to the disciples as they set out on their own for the first time. Here are some of the verses that really struck me:

v5&6: ..."'Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel'" I thinks it's interesting that they were supposed to stay only with the Jews.

They were told to take nothing. Not an extra tunic, not an extra pair of sandals, no money or food...nothing. I can't even make it out the door without a full diaper bag with a changes of clothes for the two little ones, bottles for Max, diapers out the wazoo, etc, etc...

Verse 17 is startling: "Be on your guard against men; they will hand you over to the local councils and flog you in their synogogues." Say what? Um...I would probably be peeing my pants right about then...

v 21-22: "Brother will betray brother to death, and a father his child; children will rebel against their parents and have them put to death. All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved." Not the pep talk one would expect...

v23: "I tell you the truth, you will not finish going through the cities of Israel before the Son of Man comes." I read some commentary online about what this verse means. It seems that there are many views, but the one that seems to hold the most weight is when the Roman army invaded Jerusalem. I have heard about parallel meanings though where something foretold in the Bible not only had immediate meaning (for the people in Jesus' time) but also future foreshadowing. I wonder if this is a case of that. The future foreshadowing could be that Jesus will return before the gospel is spread all throughout the Jews. There are many Jews who are turning to Christ even in 2009. They are called Messianic Jews. It makes me think that not all of God's chosen people (the Jews) will repent before Christ returns.

v 32-33 hit home: "Whoever acknowledges me before men, I will acknowledge him before my Father in Heaven. But whoever disowns me before men, I will disown him before my Fahther in Heaven."

v 34-36 has taken on a whole new meaning for me over the past few days: "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law-a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.'" This one has me stumped...how does this reconcile with 'Honor your father and mother'???

v37 "Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me" This one is hard to swallow because I wonder if my fear for my kids translates to loving them more than God since I am, in a way, doubting His ability or promise to take care of us? Something to chew on....
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