Gracious Lord, You are my guide, my help, my strength, my hope. I go forward today to gladly serve You.
Read Mark 3:7-19
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“I am making everything new!” (Rev 21:5). The new creation is under way, and what Jesus has started he will complete. This is the hope that sustains us.
Jesus was not simply enjoying an outing after communal worship, his withdrawal (7) represents a pivotal moment in his life and ministry. The ugly confrontation with the Pharisees in the synagogue (3:1-6), provoked by their idolatry of the Sabbath, was symptomatic of the destructive quality of their spirituality and their abject failure to see God at work in his Son. This confrontation also marked Jesus’ last attempt to engage meaningfully with the institution that had been at the center of Jewish religion and cultural life for hundreds of years.
Jesus’ appointment of twelve apostles, the same in number as the original tribes of Israel, was a radical announcement that the creation of a renewed people of God was under way. Jesus was intent upon fundamentally reshaping the people of God, and as that reshaping was impossible within the existing structures of Judaism, Jesus created new ones. Jesus’ renaming of Simon demonstrated something fundamental about this new community of faith—the centrality of grace.
Simon was no Peter, at least not yet, and it would be some time before the trust Jesus was placing in him, and the re-creative and restorative forgiveness God kept pouring into his life, made Simon into the rock that Jesus could already see. How wonderful it is that we, too, can intimately know this transforming love, expressed so poignantly by the author of the hymn “Amazing Grace,” one-time slave ship captain John Newton: “I am not what I ought to be, I am not what I want to be. I am not what I hope to be in another world. But still I am not what I once used to be, and by the grace of God I am what I am.”
Thank God for the forgiveness he continues to pour into you. Ask him to help you relate to others in a way that reflects his grace and imitates his love.
Lord, thank You for Your transformational presence in my life. I praise You for spiritual development in my life and look forward to further growth.
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