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John 6:60 ESV

Matthew 8:21b-22 ESV

Mark 10:37-40 ESV

Luke 14:26-27 ESV

Isaiah 43:4 ESV

Isaiah 49:6 ESV

John 3:16 ESV

In many ways today’s lesson may very well be the most important for all of society today. I don’t say that lightly. I say that after talking to many many people about pain in their life.

While I’m not sure why, in today’s world people are hurting. They are unsure about what tomorrow will bring.

Plus, they do not always know who they can trust.

I’d say it’s sad that everyone may not have a circle of people they can trust to always tell them the truth. I’m not sure about the progression of events that brought us to this point as a society, but I have noticed that if you know (for sure) 10-15 people who you can count on 100% of the time you are very blessed.

I might need to add that I don’t believe people shy away from the truth because they are evil. Most of the time I’ve noticed that people shy away from the truth because telling the whole truth is difficult, and telling the whole truth can be confrontational.

One thing I’ve noticed about Jesus is that He did not shy away from telling the whole truth. After hearing Jesus teach one day even His disciples said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” (John 6:60).

For example, Jesus made it clear that following Him would not be easy (or glamorous).

In Matthew 8:21b-22 when a follower wanted to go with Him but he had something important to do first, he told Jesus, “Lord, let me first go and bury my father.” And Jesus said to him, “Follow me, and leave the dead to bury their own dead.”

In Mark 10:37-40 James and John, the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus, “And they said to him, “Grant us to sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your glory.” Jesus said to them, “You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I drink, or to be baptized with the baptism with which I am baptized?” And they said to him, “We are able.” And Jesus said to them, “The cup that I drink you will drink, and with the baptism with which I am baptized, you will be baptized, but to sit at my right hand or at my left is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared.”

When the two brothers asked Jesus to sit with Him in heaven we don’t know exactly why they asked to do that. We do know by their response that they sincerely wanted to be near Jesus in His Kingdom. The element they didn’t know about was the manner in which Jesus would die. They didn’t know he would be arrested, tried, and brutally nailed to a cross.

Even so, Jesus answered their question honestly and without reservation.

Again, in Luke 14:26-27 Jesus told the crowds, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.”

Those are just a few examples of Jesus’ honesty.

He did not shy away from truth.

That’s because Jesus had a specific reason for his answers. Jesus loved them enough to speak truth. He loved them AND He spoke the truth to them.

The prophet Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 43:4, “Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.”

Isaiah was writing to Israel. The prophet wanted them to know that God loved them and had a plan for them. God’s plan to sent the Savior of Mankind from the tribe of Judah of Israel was foretold by the prophets. Isaiah was reminding Israel that God had a plan.

In Isaiah 43:4 the prophet was saying that God loves the world and He promised he would send a redeemer to the world.

God’s promise would be fulfilled through Israel. Specifically Isaiah was referring to a time that was yet to come so that everything would be in place when the redeemer arrives.

And so it was.

At the prescribed time when everything was in place.

In Isaiah 49:6 he wrote:

“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant     to raise up the tribes of Jacob     and to bring back the preserved of Israel; I will make you as a light for the nations,     that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”

Not only did the prophet tell them He loved them and they were precious, He told them that the redeemer from Israel would be a light to the nations.

The prophet foretold that all men would receive the message of salvation from the redeemer.

While the redeemer would be born of the house of Judah, He would be the Savior of the World. That’s because ALL are precious to God. John 3:16 tells us that, “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.”

Today’s Spiritual Practice is: BE Redeemed

Open your hands and allow yourself to feel like you are a precious child of God.

In God, Deborah


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