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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

The highway of hope

Matthew 12:15-21 / Mark 3:7-12…

Jesus was able to read the thoughts of those who were now out to kill Him, and their faces undoubtedly gave themselves away also. He withdrew from the hostile environment of the Pharisees and went about doing good things and healing people (Acts 10:38).

Again, Jesus mirrors the Old Testament (Isaiah 42:1-4), showing that His story is the point of history. All the events in the redemptive history of the Jews are learning points along the path of our own redemption (1 Corinthians 10:1-13 / Romans 15:4). If you follow along with Jesus, you will be following the will of God, and you will see how He had followed along with God’s people then (Genesis 12:7-9, 18:1-3, 32:24-30 / Exodus 3:2-6 / Joshua 5:13-15 / Daniel 3:23-25), and in your own experience, how He follows you along your journey now.

He is right there with you (Hebrews 13:5-6), and you will be able to find Him all along the way. Jesus interacted with the people, even though sometimes hidden, and now He still interacts with us. Even though we don’t see Him, we see His action. His presence is with us in the power of the Holy Spirit, and you will know it. That is, if you care to follow along. Jesus didn’t come to hurt, He came to help, and if you follow Him, you will have tribulation but you will also have victory (John 16:33 / 1 John 5:4), because He is the highway of hope.


Monday, February 27, 2017

Jesus made me mad

Matthew 12:9-14 / Mark 3:1-6 / Luke 6:6-11…

The movement of God is always moving against the murmuring of the religious crowd. When Jesus is moving, around you, through you, or to you, that is when the people will be looking to catch you in some supposed infraction. They went against Him; they will go against you, even when you are doing good things. It is always lawful to do good; just make sure you know what good really is (Galatians 5:22-23).

Jesus didn’t hold back, He knew what they were up to, yet when He in turn questioned them, they went silent (1 Peter 2:12, 15). You might be mad that people aren’t glad when you’re trying to do good; but you need to be careful how you relate to these things.

And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart. There is a bad, human, self-centered anger (James 1:20), and a good, godly, God-centered anger (Luke 11:52 / Ephesians 4:26). One is because we are dishonored; the other is because God is dishonored. We have to be careful, because we often think we are honoring God but we are not (Luke 9:51-55). How often do we presume to be standing up for the honor of God, and yet we do so in a manner not worthy of His grace?

The anger of Jesus was a grieving anger, not bitter, mean spirited, vindictive, or violent. His anger was because of His radical love. We should be mad at sin, but remember, we need to strike at the serpent, not his prey. We shouldn’t just rail at people who are practicing wrong things we should present them with the gospel. Transformed hearts will result in transformed lives. God is more angry at the immorality and injustice than we are (Isaiah 1:17). Jesus saw how sin hardened the heart of these legalistic leaders.

Following Jesus makes us mad, but what type of mad depends on you. Our anger should be a grieving anger too.