15 January 2019
God did not appoint angels to be rulers of the world to come, and that world is what we are talking about. Somewhere there is a passage that shows us this. It runs: What is man that you should spare a thought for him, the son of man that you should care for him? For a short while you made him lower than the angels; you crowned him with glory and splendour. You have put him in command of everything. Well then, if he has put him in command of everything, he has left nothing which is not under his command. At present, it is true, we are not able to see that everything has been put under his command, but we do see in Jesus one who was for a short while made lower than the angels and is now crowned with glory and splendour because he submitted to death; by God’s grace he had to experience death for all mankind.
As it was his purpose to bring a great many of his sons into glory, it was appropriate that God, for whom everything exists and through whom everything exists, should make perfect, through suffering, the leader who would take them to their salvation. For the one who sanctifies, and the ones who are sanctified, are of the same stock; that is why he openly calls them brothers in the text: I shall announce your name to my brothers, praise you in full assembly.
Jesus and his disciples went as far as Capernaum, and as soon as the sabbath came he went to the synagogue and began to teach. And his teaching made a deep impression on them because, unlike the scribes, he taught them with authority.
In their synagogue just then there was a man possessed by an unclean spirit and it shouted, ‘What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are: the Holy One of God.’ But Jesus said sharply, ‘Be quiet! Come out of him!’ And the unclean spirit threw the man into convulsions and with a loud cry went out of him. The people were so astonished that they started asking each other what it all meant. ‘Here is a teaching that is new’ they said ‘and with authority behind it: he gives orders even to unclean spirits and they obey him.’ And his reputation rapidly spread everywhere, through all the surrounding Galilean countryside.
“I know who You are: the Holy One of God!”
I have seen many videos and posts on social media, where the creators try hard to get as many people as possible to ‘like’ their posts. Once successful, these creators do get famous, often getting adulation from their fans and receiving substantial financial rewards.
Jesus could have chosen to build His ministry via a ‘social media’ route as well. Rather than silencing the unclean spirits, Jesus could have allowed them to publicise who He actually was. Imagine how easy it would have been for Him; even more people would have flocked to and followed Him.
We have two children, an eighteen-year-old girl and a thirteen-year-old boy. Because of his height, build and mature appearance, I often forget that he is, after all, only thirteen (his looks often fool people into thinking he is about eighteen). Despite his physical attributes, both my wife and I have learned that he needs to continue to be allowed to makes mistakes, and to grow emotionally and spiritually from these. When he does reach eighteen, I would be able to interact with him being an eighteen-year-old. This process simply cannot be hurried along.
It is for this reason that perhaps Jesus did not take the instant route in His mission. He had to allow us to exercise our spiritual muscles and for us to grow to a point when we are ready for Him, and for God’s message.
Let us pray that we will continue to maintain a close relationship with our Lord, and to develop even more intimacy with Him!
(Today’s Oxygen by Paul Wee)
Prayer: We pray that we may always have a desire to seek You Father; to continue to grow in our faith and love for You.
Thanksgiving: We are grateful, Jesus, for Your wisdom. For allowing us to grow and be ready for Your teachings.