Most of us long for miracles. And Jesus’ perfect life, death on sinners’ behalf as the fulfillment of Passover, and His physical resurrection prove that He is willing and able to meet our greatest needs: complete forgiveness and a new heart to trust and follow Him as our living King. But even in the Bible, most of the journey with Jesus is lived in the moments between miracles. In this 50-day series, we’ll consider some of those moments leading up to the next great miracle in the New Testament: the fulfillment of Pentecost and the incredible growth of the Church.
Do you remember the parable of the Good Samaritan? When the Lord told the lawyer who was trying to trick Him that he must love God and his neighbor, the man responded (probably smugly), “And who is my neighbor?” Isn’t that so like us to try to put limits or a list on the love that the Lord calls us to give freely. But that’s probably why Jesus included the qualifier of discipleship to “all nations” in Matthew 28:19. Otherwise, we would likely make up our own lists of family and friends who look and think like us.
Yet, even after Christ had made it clear they were to mimic His broad reach, Peter still initially struggled to accept that God could possibly save Gentiles like Cornelius (Acts 10-11). And ethnic factions were still a problem year later, evidenced by Paul reminding the church in Colossi, “Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its Creator. Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.” (Colossians 3:9-11) Just as we tend to think of God in our image, we tend to think of His potential followers in our image, too.
Aren’t you glad the Lord loves people who are very different than Him?
Most of us often identify ourselves by belonging to different groups of people.
I hope today’s thought and others in this series will be helpful to you as you journey with Jesus in the moments between miracles.
Unless otherwise indicated, Jeff Dillard is the author of all posts in this blog, the goal of which is your greater joy in Christ through leadership and counseling. Jeff and his wife, Lauren, have been married since 1995. By God’s grace, they have four wonderful children and two grandchildren. Jeff was ordained by the Presbyterian Church in America and commissioned as an Army Chaplain in 1998. He has Master’s degrees in Divinity, History, and Counseling. Since 1998, he’s had the privilege of equipping and encouraging others’ faith and service to the Lord Jesus by leading congregations and counseling in multicultural settings across the United States. Seven of those years have been in Germany, Korea, and Iraq. For leisure, Jeff enjoys simple time with his family, exercise, playing guitar and trumpet, and trying foreign foods with friends.
Please note that the contents of tools4trenches do not necessarily reflect specific beliefs or practices of organizations in which Jeff works or worships.