34 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. 36 And a person's enemies will be those of his own household. 37 Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. 38 And whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. 39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
We see Jesus suffered profoundly for us and died. And we wonder today about the passion surrounding Jerusalem and even our families.
Jesus prayed for us, a profound prayer in John 17
The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one, 23 I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.
And apparently in John 21, we have conflict over a suffering, Redeemed Jesus seeking reconciliation. Peter grousing over John's fate.
The work of the cross working immediately. Jesus telling us He is still at work.
And we know that all things "work" together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man's heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.
Salvation is how large?
- The famous analogy four blind men discover an elephant / an analogy of God. They grope about, seeking to understand and describe this new phenomenon.
- One grasps the trunk and concludes its a workable, flexible - finding the incredible Grace to recover from pain and sin.
- Another explores one of the elephant's legs and describes it as a tree - has possibilities and the cares of the world - the deceitfulness of riches - the vast cares of life -and the Tree of Life allows them to climb the tree and rest in the vast branches and be lifted. The Upward Call of God.
- A third finds the elephant's tail and announces that it is a rope - like Jacob - a way to contend with God for blessings. Hope during trouble.
- And the fourth blind man, after discovering the elephant's side, concludes that it is, after all, a wall - the law is solid. A Guide to rest decisions and temptations to bind up the culture to care for one another - vast Blessings.
Let's begin with the Prophets and tomorrow consider the four Gospels and unity.
John was expressing how large salvation is -
24 This is the disciple who is bearing witness about these things, and who has written these things, and we know that his testimony is true.
25 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.
God expresses this to us in the parable of the workers - some who refused and arrived later. Some who said yes and didn't appear. Some arrived in the nick of time. Jesus announcing His storehouse of blessings does not run dry.
Look at the Old Testament and what drew men of all backgrounds and personalities to God -
He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.
Abraham gathered blessings and mercy for others. This is what drew him to God. Father of Nations. Abraham felt God should be merciful, asking God to spare mankind. And earned the blessing of the millenniums. God's attitude on mercy - Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
Jacob fought God all of his days for a Blessing and sought to bless his children and grandsons. God granted Jacob the blessing all of his days. As Jacob believed he lived the blessings of God.
Moses wanted justice for the people he felt were abandoned. God provided more than justice, and the slaves left with their former masters' gold and jewelry. God guarded them tenderly.
Eli wanted God's Words to be fulfilled. He wanted Hannah to be blessed. And Samuel to hear. Eli lived to see all of God's Word fulfilled.
Samuel mourned (not his sons continuing Judges but Saul and his duty to God to anoint David). Like the Prodigal Father - He longed to run to his son and have that embrace.
Nathan saw God loves like a Shepherd. Tenderly caring in love. Nathan cared for David as a witness to Love all their lives. Not Gad, who did a job thundering away.
Elijah was pressed to the wall in famine, unbelief and war. He believed God. Listening to the reassuring small voice - "God had not forgotten him."
Elisha saw the measure of Elijah's faith endure and carry him through hardship. He began seeing the blaze of Elijah revealing God's glory, in a time of abundance as Ahab was defeated. The joys of the world were not going to overcome his faith.
Jonah mourned a plant - not even caring for the repentant. Jonah had no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.
Isaiah jumped into serving GOD with glee. He got his feet wet in Uzziah's reign and lived joyously bringing the Good News of faith in the LORD let the people to hear, understand, see and perceive, the heart of the people worked tirelessly to be turned and healed. King Hezekiah's faith brought the prosperity of God bring faith in placing HIM first. Isaih's willingness was a forerunner of "behold the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand."
Jeremiah wanted to be left alone. Well, unfortunately for Jeremiah - he was left alone. And God grew him. Jeremiah began in the most glorious of religious reigns reviving the Temple and discovering the forgotten Word of GOD. Jeremiah gave God's prophecies, enduring ridicule, and lived to see the Word fulfilled, immediately. He lived to see an abandoned Jerusalem have peace.
Ezekiel believed better times were coming during war. He knew God would show up when their righteousness was gone. He trusted God to be merciful to them.
Habakkuk cried out for help so loudly, insistently with expectation. God answered.