Thursday, 9 January 2014

TFTD - 09 January 2014 - Thoughts from Today's Bible Readings

09 January 2014

Genesis 17; 18
Psalms 19; 20; 21
Matthew 11

"TO WHAT SHALL I LIKEN THIS GENERATION"

Jesus said, "to what shall I liken this generation?" [Matthew 11:16] Each generation has had those who search for answers as to the meaning of life. John the Baptist, shut up in prison appears to have wanted reassurance when he sent his disciples to Jesus, are you really the one? Notice how Jesus never gives plain 'Yes' or 'No' answers, the response was to say look at what is happening and consider that in light of what God revealed through the prophets. [Matthew 11:2-6] Those with their own agenda of thoughts were offended at him.

We read today in Genesis of Abraham's conversation with the angel of the LORD about Sodom [Genesis 18] who said, "because the outcry against Sodom and Gomorrah is great and their sin very grave, I will go down to see whether they have done altogether according to the outcry that has come to me" [Genesis 18:21] Abraham obtains a promise that if 10 righteous are found there he would not destroy the city. But only 3 were saved! Tragic! As today, sexual perversions were a dominant factor; that generation, like ours, had its thoughts directed to the things of the flesh.

Yet Jesus, in today's reading, mentions Sodom, saying [Matthew 11:22] that if the amazing miracles that the people of Capernaum were seeing had been done in Sodom they would have responded and it would not have been destroyed. He adds, "I tell you that it will be more tolerable on the day of judgement for the land of Sodom than for you" [Matthew 11:24]

This is telling us that in the day of judgement it will not be a case of getting a high enough mark , like you need to go to University, but of God seeing how you have responded according to the evidence available to you. No one will "earn" a place in God's Kingdom. The cities in which Jesus did his miracles failed the test [Matthew 11:20-21]. But everyone on that day will need the mercy and grace of our judge, for he will see the real motivations of our heart against the background of the circumstances in which we have lived.

So what did Jesus say about "this generation" as what he should compare it to? You can read it in Matthew 11:16-19. They were like children at play who refused to grow up, willfully misinterpreting the actions of Jesus, saying he was "a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners"

And what would he say of today's generation? We are people who have discovered far more of the absolute wonders of creation as we commented 2 days ago and refuse to face the obvious meaning of the evidence, just as the generation that Jesus talked to, who refused to face the evidence. In addition, today we have God's word, the Bible, freely available in every language. This is a blessing so many scorn, just as they scorned the work and teaching of Jesus nearly 2,000 years ago.
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- DC


Thought for the Day

09 January 2014

"The race does not ultimately go to the swift by nature; nor the battle inevitably to the strong; nor riches to men of mighty talents. By patience the lowliest gifts become equal to the highest natural talents; and without patience the highest natural powers lose their value. As truly as God gives power and talent to the mighty, much more truly He gives talents to the patient. Did you ever know a proud man patient? Did you ever know a patient man who was not humble? "God resists the proud, but gives grace unto the humble." (James 4:6)

- F.W. Barnett
Patient Continuance (1961)