The Walls Came Tumbling Down

Saturday

“Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!”

In 70 CE the walls of Jerusalem fell, an event that occurred during the first of three Jewish-Roman wars. Jesus prophesied that they would fall but not before each of the disciples is brought to trial, false prophets come forward, and wars and rumors of wars would take place. What happened in Jerusalem could happen to any one of us. Each of us has probably reached a breaking point at some time in our lives when our defense mechanisms are at their weakest, and the walls we build to protect us lay in ruins. But how is it that Jesus after painting such a grim picture of future events can only offer “He who endures to the end will be saved”? Their mission of course is the spreading of the gospel, but if suffering hardship is part of the journey of believers what are we being saved from? Clearly, there is no way around the physical attacks. Thus perhaps for the Christian, our only true defense mechanism is the Word of God, but their strength is in our continual use of the Word and keeping it close in heart and mind (Deuteronomy 11:18) as we endure to the end, lest our walls continually fall down. Then shall our salvation be the preservation of the soul lived out in a Kingdom of Peace.

Mark 13:1-13  As for yourselves, beware; for they will hand you over to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings because of me, as a testimony to them. And the good newsmust first be proclaimed to all nations. When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.

Philippians 3:14  I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.

1 Corinthians 9:24  Athletes exercise self-control in all things; they do it to receive a perishable (physical) garland, but we an imperishable (spiritual) one.

A Mother’s Request

Monday-July 25, 2011

Did James and John put her up to it? My sons would have been embarrassed particularly if I had asked for such favoritism in front of their friends. I believe James and John may have been a little embarrassed but nonetheless secretly wanted to sit at the right and left of the Lord. So what if the others got angry, first come, first serve. There are a ton of things to which I would like to be favored. However, favoritism isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, as it usually goes along with some great expectation or worse a favor in return. To some extent favoritism may even put you in a place for which you are not ready. As James and John would be asked and later find out; “Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?” Eagerly they say yes without fully understanding what’s in the cup. Not one of the disciples hung around when Jesus was arrested and later crucified. Three days later they were hiding in upper rooms. As the saying goes be careful of what you ask for. Jesus’ prophetic response would however come true and in spite of the brothers’ shortcomings early on, Jesus knew the heart of his chosen and they did indeed drink of that same cup. The good news is that still today Christ knows the heart of his chosen. Blessed and favored, with our imperfections and mothers who feel they need to speak on our behalf; we too in due season can and will drink of that same cup.

Matthew 20:20-28 It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and who ever wishes to be first among you must be your slave.