The following reflection is courtesy of PresentationMinistries.com (c) 2015. Their website is located at PresentationMinistries.com
“No man ever spoke like that before.” John 7:46
“The crowd was sharply divided over Him.” John 7:43
The temple guards “forgot” to arrest Jesus, so impressed were they by His words. However, the Pharisees were unimpressed; they said the guards and the crowds that listened to Jesus had been taken in (Jn 7:46ff).
This was not the first time Jesus received such contradictory reactions to His words. At His hometown of Nazareth, “they marveled at the appealing discourse which came from His lips” (Lk 4:22). Nevertheless, a few minutes later, “the whole audience in the synagogue was filled with indignation. They rose up and expelled Him from the town” (Lk 4:28-29).
Jesus “was teaching in the temple area from day to day. The chief priests and scribes meanwhile were looking for a way to destroy Him, as were the leaders of the people, but they had no idea how to achieve it, for indeed the entire populace was listening to Him and hanging on His words” (Lk 19:47-48). Jesus’ words were so powerfully popular and convicting that He was protected for years from those who were antagonized by His words.
Jesus said: “I gave them Your word, and the world has hated them for it” (Jn 17:14). Jesus is “an obstacle and a stumbling stone. Those who stumble and fall are the disbelievers in God’s word” (1 Pt 2:8). We will either hate Jesus, His Word, and those who proclaim His Word (see Jn 15:18, 20), or we will find His words to be the joy and the happiness of our hearts (Jer 15:16).
Let the Holy Spirit wield God’s Word (see Eph 6:17) to crucify your flesh with its passions and desires (Gal 5:24). Otherwise, you will continue to crucify Jesus (Heb 6:6). Submit to God’s Word with joy.
Prayer: Father, I accept Your grace to conform my life to Your Word.Promise: “A Shield before me is God, Who saves the upright of heart.” Ps 7:11 Praise: Jim left his Bible at work. He was so upset that he made the long drive back to work that night so he could have his Bible.
Rescript: In accord with the Code of Canon Law, I hereby grant my permission to publish One Bread, One Body covering the period from February 1, 2015 through March 31, 2015.
Most Reverend Joseph R. Binzer, Auxiliary Bishop, Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati, August 25, 2014.
The rescript is a declaration that a book or pamphlet is considered to be free of doctrinal or moral error. It is not implied that those who have granted ecclesial permission agree with the contents, opinions, or statements
The following reflection is courtesy of Don Schwager (c) 2015, whose website is located at DailyScripture.net
When resistance and opposition to God’s word rears its head how do you respond? With fear and doubt? Or with faith and courage? The prophet Jeremiah was opposed by his own people because the words he spoke in God’s name did not sit right with them. They plotted to silence him and to “cut him off from the land of the living” (Jeremiah 11:19). Jeremiah responded with meekness and prophetic insight “like a gentle lamb led to the slaughter” (Jeremiah 11:18).
No one can be indifferent for long when confronted with Jesus and his claim to be the Messiah and Savior of the world. Jesus’ message and the miraculous signs he performed caused division for many in Israel. Some believed he was a prophet, some the Messiah, and some believed he was neither. The reaction of the armed officers was bewildered amazement. They went to arrest him and returned empty-handed because they never heard anyone speak as he did. The reaction of the chief priests and Pharisees was contempt. The reaction of Nicodemus was timid. His heart told him to defend Jesus, but his head told him not to take the risk.
Who is Jesus for you? And are you ready to give him your full allegiance? There will often come a time when we have to take a stand for the Lord Jesus and for the truth of the Gospel – the good news of God’s kingdom and the free gift of salvation which Jesus came to bring us. To stand for Jesus and his kingdom may provoke mockery and opposition. It may even entail suffering and hardship – such as the loss of job, reputation, or life.The Lord Jesus richly rewards those who suffer for his name’s sake.
There are fundamentally only two choices that determine the course of our lives and the final destiny that awaits us: the choice to live for God’s kingdom of peace, joy, and righteousness or the pursuit of the world’s kingdom which stands in opposition to God’s authority and commandments. We can choose to obey God’s word and believe in his promise of blessing or we can choose to follow the voice of those who promise success and happiness apart from God’s truth and laws. The costly grace and freedom – which the Lord Jesus offers to those who embrace the cross for his sake – leads to joy and blessing in this life as well as the promise of eternal happiness with God. Cheap grace – which tries to bypass the cross for the sake of being my own master and the ruler of my own destiny – leads to emptiness and endless futility. Who do you choose to be the master and ruler of your life and destiny?
“Lord Jesus, your Gospel brings joy and freedom. May I be loyal to you always, even though it produce a cross on earth, that I may share in your crown of victory for all eternity”.