Thursday after Ash Wednesday

February 15th, 2018

Meditation
  • I have very strong opinions about what I believe to be right and wrong.  If I had to guess, I would say you probably do, too.  Maybe not about everything - but there is a core of beliefs about which we are deeply convicted.

    John the Baptist believed deeply that the long awaited Messiah was at hand.  The message he preached was simple, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.”  He went about baptizing the repentant, and challenging the self-righteous. Yet toward the end of his life, he sent word from prison to Jesus asking “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”  The very thing he believed and preached had come into doubt.  Jesus did not try to reassure him with arguments, but rather pointed him to look at the readily observable evidence:

    Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor.  Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”
    (Matthew 11:4-6)

    I pray that we are correct in our beliefs.  More so, I pray that we are open to the possibility that we may be wrong.  Most of all, I pray that we will look to Jesus to answer our doubts and point us back to the readily observable evidence. Will you pray today for God to reveal to you any areas where you need to change what you believe?

Scripture(s)
  • Isaiah 43:16-21

    16 This is what the Lord says—
        he who made a way through the sea,
        a path through the mighty waters,
    17 who drew out the chariots and horses,
        the army and reinforcements together,
    and they lay there, never to rise again,
        extinguished, snuffed out like a wick:
    18 “Forget the former things;
        do not dwell on the past.
    19 See, I am doing a new thing!
        Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
    I am making a way in the wilderness
        and streams in the wasteland.
    20 The wild animals honor me,
        the jackals and the owls,
    because I provide water in the wilderness
        and streams in the wasteland,
    to give drink to my people, my chosen,
    21     the people I formed for myself
        that they may proclaim my praise.

  • Matthew 11:1-19

    Jesus and John the Baptist

    11 After Jesus had finished instructing his twelve disciples, he went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.

    2 When John, who was in prison, heard about the deeds of the Messiah, he sent his disciples 3 to ask him, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

    4 Jesus replied, “Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 6 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

    7 As John’s disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings’ palaces. 9 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written:

    “‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
        who will prepare your way before you.’

    11 Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subjected to violence, and violent people have been raiding it. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15 Whoever has ears, let them hear.

    16 “To what can I compare this generation? They are like children sitting in the marketplaces and calling out to others:

    17 “‘We played the pipe for you,
        and you did not dance;
    we sang a dirge,
        and you did not mourn.’

    18 For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ 19 The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

Contributor

Perry Brown

Media Director
Reynoldsburg Church of Christ

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