Advent Day 14
Dec 9, 2019
In chapter 14, we see Jesus again healing on the Sabbath, proving the Pharisees had a false interpretation of the Law. Jesus then teaches on humility, demonstrating one who is poor in spirit before God. The phrase “poor in spirit” can be understood as the recognition by the believer that we have a great need of God in all areas of our life, and we need to depend on Him every day (v.11). In the parable of the Great Banquet, Jesus showed that this humility coming from being poor in spirit was not demonstrated by the leaders of Israel who were self-glorifying, self-seeking, and self-righteous. In the parable, the host of the feast (God Himself!) was inviting to come those who were of that generation; but the leaders were condemned and would not partake of fellowshipping with the Savior. To close out the chapter, we see Jesus teaching on discipleship – following him. The first lesson is we are to leave the things of this world - even our own family - if they hinder us from following Jesus. “Hate” in the Bible doesn't mean literally “hate” as we understand it in English; it means we don't choose it. To follow Jesus means we are to choose what pleases God. Similarly, to “love” means to choose; we are to love God therefore we choose Him over everything else. In “bearing our cross”, we identify with the life and rejection (if need be) of our Savior. In Romans 12:1-2 Paul exhorts us to “present [our] bodies as living sacrifices, holy and acceptable to God” and to “not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind”. To be living sacrifices to God is to carry our cross and follow King Jesus! Questions for Reflection: What "costs" have you experienced in your life by choosing to follow Jesus? Is there an area in your life that you aren't willing to give up in obedience to him? Pray for God's Spirit to reveal areas we might be holding back in "presenting our bodies as living sacrifices". Confess them to God and trust in God's grace to forgive you and strengthen you to walk in light and truth.