Blessed… Hoping in the World

 As Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the Twelve aside by themselves on the road. He told them, “Look, we are going up to Jerusalem. The Human One will be handed over to the chief priests and legal experts. They will condemn him to death.  They will hand him over to the Gentiles to be ridiculed, tortured, and crucified. But he will be raised on the third day” (Matthew 20:187-19, Common English Bible).

This is the third time Jesus predicts his death and resurrection in Matthew’s gospel. I have thought some about this particular passage. I found it puzzling that Jesus found it necessary to tell the disciples three times that he would be arrested, tried and executed and then on the third day he would rise again.

I have reached a couple of conclusions. First, as New Testament era Jews, the disciples were continually focused on the world of the present. They anticipated Jesus to be a Messiah of their present day, not a Messiah of a world to come. Even when they spoke of, “When you come into your kingdom,” their thinking was for a kingdom of their day, not a kingdom they wouldn’t be seeing for years to come.

The second reason was, these guys needed reminders. Jesus first started talking about this several chapters back and Peter chose to chastise Jesus. For his trouble he, at least on the surface, seemed to have Jesus call him Satan. Additionally, because the disciples were so focused on the present, Jesus had to say, in essence, now is the time. The first two times were more about, “the day is coming…” Jesus’ words now were about, “We are headed into Jerusalem and this is what is going to happen….”

It seems to me that we are a lot like the disciples. We too are focused on the present rather than the life that is to come. Sure, a good bit of who we are and what we do should be focused on the here and now but our focus should be on making the Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. What we tend to be more focused on is having a good time now because that is what life is all about. Or, at least that is what we think.

It’s not about us. We need the reminder too. We don’t need the reminder that Jesus was about to suffer and die and would rise on the third day. The reminder we need is that Jesus not only did suffer and die, he suffered and died for you and I. Further he did rise on the third day and because he lives we can have life too. But, we should always remember, that isn’t because of us, because it isn’t about us. We are offered the gift of grace because Jesus did suffer, die and rose again. Thanks be to God.

Where do you find your reminders that Jesus died and rose again for you and me?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thanksgiving,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.

 

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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