The range of teaching in this chapter is hard to digest in one reading; in fact it hard to digest in one lifetime!
I have had many times in my relatively long life (today I am 68) when the future has been uncertain. I have had about 20 jobs over 5 career paths, which will probably become the norm for most people in a world that is changing so fast. So there have been many times when I have worried about what will happen next. But looking back I know I need not have worried.
Jesus urges us to stand up for Him in all our daily activities. But most of us acknowledge that we don’t always do this as robustly as we should, and we must ask his forgiveness for our failings here. The ‘unforgivable sin’ mentioned in the passage – the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit – is thought to be a complete rebuke to those who were claiming that the spirit of Jesus was from Satan rather than God.
I think it is time for some encouragement – so play the following video. Then think on how you could make a stand for Jesus today and don’t forget to claim His promise (last verse) when you do.
And Jesus, as ever, totally trashes the philosophy of affluence and personal prosperity that so dominates the outlook of our Western capitalist civilisation. I confess to regular bouts of materialism – things I want NOW, when deep down I know I don’t need them. And we throw away so much stuff. There is really NO EXCUSE here, all of MUST try and share more with those in need, both in our local community and worldwide.
Please God, as we celebrate Christmas over the days ahead, help us not to turn away from those in dire need. We know you died for the children in this picture and your heart aches for them and their future. Help us never to forget this and do what we can – and more – to help. AMEN