Sunday, August 8, 2010

Trinity 10: A Devotional Commentary

Jeremiah 8:4-12 Moreover you shall tell them, Thus says Yahweh: Shall men fall, and not rise up again? Shall one turn away, and not return? Why then is this people of Jerusalem slidden back by a perpetual backsliding? they hold fast deceit, they refuse to return. I listened and heard, but they didn’t speak aright: no man repents him of his wickedness, saying, What have I done? everyone turns to his course, as a horse that rushes headlong in the battle. Yes, the stork in the sky knows her appointed times; and the turtledove and the swallow and the crane observe the time of their coming; but my people don’t know Yahweh’s law. How do you say, We are wise, and the law of Yahweh is with us? But, behold, the false pen of the scribes has worked falsely. The wise men are disappointed, they are dismayed and taken: behold, they have rejected the word of Yahweh; and what kind of wisdom is in them? Therefore will I give their wives to others, and their fields to those who shall possess them: for everyone from the least even to the greatest is given to covetousness; from the prophet even to the priest every one deals falsely. They have healed the hurt of the daughter of my people slightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore shall they fall among those who fall; in the time of their visitation they shall be cast down, says Yahweh.

1 Corinthians 12:1-11 Now concerning spiritual things, brothers, I don’t want you to be ignorant. You know that when you were heathen, you were led away to those mute idols, however you might be led. Therefore I make known to you that no man speaking by God’s Spirit says, “Jesus is accursed.” No one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” but by the Holy Spirit. Now there are various kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are various kinds of service, and the same Lord. There are various kinds of workings, but the same God, who works all things in all. But to each one is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the profit of all. For to one is given through the Spirit the word of wisdom, and to another the word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit; to another faith, by the same Spirit; and to another gifts of healings, by the same Spirit; and to another workings of miracles; and to another prophecy; and to another discerning of spirits; to another different kinds of languages; and to another the interpretation of languages. But the one and the same Spirit works all of these, distributing to each one separately as he desires.

Luke 19:41-48 When he drew near, he saw the city and wept over it, saying, “If you, even you, had known today the things which belong to your peace! But now, they are hidden from your eyes. For the days will come on you, when your enemies will throw up a barricade against you, surround you, hem you in on every side, and will dash you and your children within you to the ground. They will not leave in you one stone on another, because you didn’t know the time of your visitation.” He entered into the temple, and began to drive out those who bought and sold in it, saying to them, “It is written, ‘My house is a house of prayer,’ but you have made it a ‘den of robbers’!” He was teaching daily in the temple, but the chief priests and the scribes and the leading men among the people sought to destroy him. They couldn’t find what they might do, for all the people hung on to every word that he said.

If only you knew the things that would bring you peace. The Israelites had a history of ignoring, persecuting, or even killing those who brought them peace and so does the church today. The church, just like the Jews, considers these people to be troublemakers. Jesus was disturbing the peace by interfering with the plans to make money for Judaism Inc. He spoke openly against Judaism Inc.'s mission and vision statements. Jesus made it very clear that God's house is a house of prayer, not a house for making a buck. Jesus interfered with their plans for financial peace.

In many places today, if you insist that Jesus be preached they will drive you out. They will accuse you of all kinds of crazy things. If you approach the leadership of a church or denomination and insist on Jesus in the preaching and the liturgy, they will say you are divisive and a troublemaker. We're all united, don't try to cause divisions by your insistance on Jesus.

Jesus is a threat to their false peace that they have when they put confidence in whatever program they want to promote. Jesus is a threat to your peace when you place your confidence in your own plans and ideas. Jesus threatens the peace of even the most pious ideas of religious men.

But Jesus brings us true peace that will never be found in our own plans and schemes. Sometimes Jesus will bring havoc and all kinds of misery to our lives so that he can bring us peace. Jesus brings peace to the suffering in the midst of their suffering. Jesus tells us that our sins our forgiven. Jesus feeds us His very body and blood. Peace cannot be found in religious fads and schemes. Peace can only be found in Jesus Himself by being united to Him and feeding on Him.

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