Learning the Family Business

Dad and Son by Ryan Qiu, on Flickr
Dad and Son by Ryan Qiu, on Flickr
Anyone that has children or has ever thought about having children has probably spent some time thinking about what it is they would like to teach their children and how they hope their children will grow up, what legacy they would like to leave behind through their children. Jesus’ earthly father, Joseph, probably had similar thoughts and we know that he taught Jesus in accordance with what was customary in his time. Typically whatever business the father did the son did also, it was the family trade and it was expected that the son would take over the family business. The following passage reflects another business that Jesus learned as his Father in heaven guided his journey so that he would be ready when his time had come. Keep in mind that those hearing this message would have heard things on multiple levels, one of which would have been an understanding that He really was participating in the Father’s business.

John 5:19-23
Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, and he will show him even greater works than these, so that you will be amazed. For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son gives life to whom he is pleased to give it. Moreover, the Father judges no one, but has entrusted all judgment to the Son, that all may honor the Son just as they honor the Father. Whoever does not honor the Son does not honor the Father, who sent him.

We too have the opportunity to join in on the family business. We are the sons and daughters of God and likewise we have the honor of learning the family business. God shows us each day how to walk and how to interact with people, sometimes it is easy while other times it is difficult. There are times when he gives us opportunities to instill wisdom, to pray for healing or encouragement, there are even times when God calls us to suffer and act selflessly. As we go through life we glorify the Father by following his leadership and by learning every aspect of what He has called us to do. In the Great Commission we are told to go make disciples, to baptize them, and to teach them to obey all that has been commanded of us. This implies that we already know how to do these things though and that we know what has been commanded of us. We must be eager to learn more about the Father’s business so that we, like Jesus, can bring life to people. We are called into action, to do the stuff, to do what we see the Father doing. Are your eyes open to what God is doing and calling you into or are you focused on yourself? Are you willing to take up the family business or do you have plans of your own? It is your choice what you decide to do, but know that there is only one path that leads to life and all others lead to death.

Father, thank you for taking the time to teach me the family business. Thank you having patience with me as I mess things up and as I get distracted. I know that I have a long way to go still, but I look forward to learning more from you every day. Teach me how to fully embrace being your child. It is so easy for me to get caught up in the world and the things that are going on around me and I often times forget that I am not of this world. Thank you Father for never leaving my side and for guiding me down the path to righteousness as I learn to trust you and to follow you fully. Use me today, show me what you want me to do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Tuesday of Holy Week

Mark 11:20-26

As they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away to its roots. And Peter remembered and said to him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree that you cursed has withered.” And Jesus answered them, “Have faith in God. Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father also who is in heaven may forgive you your trespasses.”

6873826882_88e6b99d96_bCould you imagine walking with Jesus and seeing the fig tree completely withered away within 24 hours? The disciples had seen Jesus do many things through the power of His Father. He had seen Jesus walk on water, they watched and participated as he healed people, they watched and participated as he cast out demons. They were by his side as he spoke and taught the people with authority unlike that of anyone they had ever heard before, yet they were still learning from Jesus as they were walking with Him during His final week in his earthly vessel. There was so much for the disciples to learn that they could not possibly have learned everything from Jesus during their time that they had with him, even though they barely left his side during the last three years. The same goes for us today. Jesus is always teaching us. He is always molding us into the people that we were meant to be through the Holy Spirit, but just like His disciples we have to be ready to hear with ears that understand what we are being told.

We need to know the Word, both the Old and New Testament and stand strong in it. We need to not be swayed by society and its ever changing policies and interpretations for the Word of God is never changing. It is the same today as it was in the beginning. All that it took to strip unfettered access and communion with God from Adam and Eve was one simple word of doubt from the serpent; “did God really say…” (Gen. 3:1). When Jesus spent forty days in the wilderness being tempted by Satan He was being tempted through a manipulation of the word, but Jesus knew the Word in his head and in his heart; it was through the word that Jesus fought of Satan during his tempting of Him and we must do the same. We must learn the Word and know it not only in our heads, but in our hearts. It is only then that we will truly understand where the authority that we have comes from and the power that we have through the authority that we have received.

Mark 11:27-33

And they came again to Jerusalem. And as he was walking in the temple, the chief priests and the scribes and the elders came to him, and they said to him, “By what authority are you doing these things, or who gave you this authority to do them?” Jesus said to them, “I will ask you one question; answer me, and I will tell you by what authority I do these things. Was the baptism of John from heaven or from man? Answer me.” And they discussed it with one another, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But shall we say, ‘From man’?”-they were afraid of the people, for they all held that John really was a prophet. So they answered Jesus, “We do not know.” And Jesus said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things.”

God is loveChildren of Satan do not understand where we get our authority because it is different from what they know. They receive power through their own strength, some use it for good, while others use it to do harm, but it is not true power. True power is humble, it does not boast, it is honoring to others, there is no envy in it, it rejoices in truth, it always protects, trusts, and hopes, it always perseveres (1 Cor. 13:4-7). True power is love. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (Jn. 3:16).

Have you received true power? Do you know where your authority comes from? As we remember this week the final days of Jesus’ earthly ministry we are reminded of the love that our Father has for us that He would give us life through Jesus. That He would cleanse us through Jesus. That He would give us power through the blood of Jesus. We have no power, no authority, no hope without Jesus. So rejoice today as your remember all that you have received because you have a Father that loves you so much that He gave, in love, His only Son so that you could have life eternal.

Father we thank you for Jesus. We have so much to learn, just as the first disciples did. Keep us close as you do your work in the world and show us your ways. We want to join in with you in bringing life. We want to engage in battle and fight against the darkness of this world. That even though Satan thought he won by seeing Jesus crucified on the cross he was overcome by the power of His blood and we have that same power today. Humble our hearts today God as we learn what it really means to love, how we are to respond to others and act in all situations. Fill us with your grace and mercy so that we can get out of our own way to minister to everyone that you place before us. We love you Father and we are eternally thankful for the only true sacrifice made through Jesus so that we may live and know you and it’s in His name that we pray. Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice. Amen.