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Friday, July 30, 2010

Today's reflections: They questioned Jesus' wisdom and mighty deeds

They said: "Where did this man get this wisdom and mighty deeds? Is he not the carpenter's son? Is not his mother named Mary and his brothers James, Joseph, Simon, and Judas? Are not his sisters all with us? Were did this man get all this?"And they took offense at him. But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor except in his native place.” They found him too much for them.

This was how the people of authority looked at Jesus. He was treated with great reproach and He did not get the respect He deserved. They could not accept Jesus and all the good works that He has shared with everyone. The truth and the wisdom that He brought upon them were met with great question and sarcasm for they could not believe that such a lowly and poor man could ever be endowed with such gifts. Their hearts were breaking with disgust for how can Jesus teach with great wisdom and authority when He did not even come from the elite class of learned people neither was He brought up among the wealthy and the rich as the best that He could have was a manger for His birthplace. They said Jesus was a mere carpenter and what good can come out of Him. That was how people treated Jesus during His time.

Today and thousands of years later, it is very discouraging to note that man has not changed. We still hear similar comments from people about their neighbor. As such God comes to us with His exhortation that when dealing with our fellow worker in His vineyard, we should look into the goodness that is in him rather than on his faults. We should not look on how one started in life but how one has led his life in pursuit of God and His ways. We should not be concerned if one came into the world with a silver spoon or if one came from a family that has been destitute for generations. All we should consider is the goodness of a man and how he has glorified God in his life.

Because all of us are broken and sinful, we are so susceptible not only to judge others based on our opinion of their faults and their shortcomings, especially those who wound our feelings or those who conflict with our own way of thinking and acting. While we give little or no consideration to their good points we may judge them based on what we perceive them to be and their social standing: who they are in society, what their achievements are, how great their influence is, but most importantly, how thick their pocketbook is. In other words, the more a man exudes with the elements of the world, the more, people are likely to accept him and give him credence as a son of God.

Is this how Jesus wants us to treat each other? Given some degree of authority within God's family, is this how we will address our other co-workers and those who shall endeavor to work for Him?

Jesus was looked down upon by the church elders and this hampered his fruitfulness as Scripture says," He could work no miracle there, apart from curing a few who were sick by laying hands on them, so much did their lack of faith distress him." If we discriminate a fellow worker in Christ we hamper not only His ministry but also his spiritual growth and we are therefore answerable to God.

If ever we will be set aside and be treated the way they treated Jesus, let us not fight back but humbly receive the insults, hardships, persecutions, and constraints, for the sake of Christ; for when we are weak, that is when we are strong. That is when Christ dwells in us, the time when His grace is more than sufficient for us, when we are able to do what others may consider as impossible and beyond us!

Our conduct may meet opposition from those who openly oppose Christian morality and those who practice a water-down version of the Faith. We should set aside any fears of ‘rocking the boat’ (speaking and standing for the TRUTH) should our upright conduct provoke criticism or rejection. We should not hide our Christian identity and even desire to be politically aligned with those who have power and influence. Amidst the material world, we ought to SPEAK for Jesus as He said: Whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven. Our Lord teaches us that confessing our faith is a requirement for being His follower, no matter what the consequences may be. With God’s grace, we will be able to stand firm with our faith and do His Will. Everything we have belongs to the Lord.

Direction

Every man who endeavors to work for the Lord has been blessed with God's goodness and love. Always decide based on the goodness of the heart of a man rather than his sins and faults.


Prayer

Heavenly Father, when I chance to see a co-worker do something seemingly imperfect, give me the grace to see the goodness in the person and to credit him with the good intentions he no doubt possesses because He is one of your children whom You love so well. In Jesus, I hope and pray. Amen.
[source:via email]

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