To Follow Jesus
My notes on Every Day with Jesus, written by Selwyn Hughes; revised and updated by Mick Brooks, published by CWR.
March/April 2015 Issue – ‘The Servant’
The text set for today’s reading and meditation:
Isaiah 49:4 (NIVUK): “But I said, ‘I have laboured in vain; I have spent my strength for nothing at all. Yet what is due to me is in the Lord’s hand, and my reward is with my God.’ ”
As has been the case over the past few days, Selwyn has written another excellent summary: “The Servant focuses on the rewards God gives, and affirms His willingness to leave the outcome of His ministry in God’s hands.
Did Jesus, in His earthly ministry ever have to battle with such thoughts? We may never know. But if He did, His faith in His Father’s purposes would have overwhelmed any doubts and despair. It can be the same for us.”
We do know from the Gospels, that Jesus did express a range of human emotions. One of the well-known times was in the garden of Gethsemane, just before He was arrested, Matthew 26:38-39; “Then Jesus said to them, ‘My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.’ Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.’”
And, He also experienced frustration with the slow progress of His disciples, Matthew 17:16-17; “I brought him to your disciples, but they could not heal him.’ ‘You unbelieving and perverse generation,’ Jesus replied, ‘how long shall I stay with you? How long shall I put up with you? Bring the boy here to me.’” Perhaps it would be a worthwhile exercise, during this day, to recall other examples?
I think we are presented with these examples to illustrate that even though we may have doubts, from time to time, about the usefulness of our actions in loving God and people; that God fully understands our doubts. Yet, we continue, because we follow our Lord – who knows our strengths and weaknesses – and, who lovingly supports us while on this trying journey.
In the Book of Hebrews, we find these words (Hebrews 2:14-15,17-18): “Since the children have flesh and blood, he too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death – that is, the devil – and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death. … For this reason he had to be made like them, fully human in every way, in order that he might become a merciful and faithful high priest in service to God, and that he might make atonement for the sins of the people. Because he himself suffered when he was tempted, he is able to help those who are being tempted.”
In the verses above, the focus is on temptation, but I think you can extend these words to the full range of human emotions. The key point is that we have a God we can actually follow – because He went before us – as, one of us. Your view?