Devotional for December 2, 2020

Greetings in Christ,

  We may not consider ourselves great scholars of the Bible from our own perspective, but I think we have a better understanding of the Bible than the scholars of Jesus’ time on earth.  Faith has been the asset for our ability to understand more of the written word and believe Jesus is the Son of God, and we have let faith be guide as it leads us in the path of righteousness.  We also have the New Testament to fill in the gaps which was not written for the scholars of old.

  If we could go back in time while Jesus walked the earth, would we be able to recognize the scholar’s misunderstanding of the written word as they knew it.  Now we have to take in mind we would not have a copy of the written word (like we have today) available for us to read.  If we could take our knowledge of the word back in time with us we would be able to see the misunderstanding of the Old Testament writings.  Now make it fair the only thing we could depend on is our knowledge of the Old Testament for us to witness this misunderstanding.

  If we could set along with the scholars in the temple and listen to the word being spoken on the Sabbath day as it was traditional back then, and we had our understanding of the Old Testament just as they should, would we conceive in our minds a different conclusion?  Then one Sabbath observe a man enter the temple and begin speaking with such great authority and understanding of the word it makes the people sit quietly with awe.  This authority and how the man spoke goes beyond anything heard before by the common people.  Then after worship time see the same man eating lunch with a tax collector and all his friends.  Would we get caught up in wrongful thinking and declare him guilty of sin and not look past the obvious to recognize Jesus as the Son of God?  Would we be able to let faith rule in our hearts to accept Jesus?

  Faith would have to be the determining factor in our ability to recognize Jesus as Jesus.  The scholars of old got so wrapped up in the written word it became all they knew.  Their lives reflected the word to the tee and with it all the extended rules and regulations.  They forgot how to connect with their heart and follow faith as the guiding factor.  They got caught up in the semantics of the word and forgot to live them out, and it may be the reason we would miss Jesus as the Messiah.

  Paul writes to the Thessalonians these words, “But we should always give thanks to God for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God has chosen you from the beginning for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and faith in the truth.”  Faith allows people to recognize the written word as truth and is the key factor in accepting what it has to say, and it determines how we act upon the written word. 

  The scholars of Jesus’ time got so caught up in following the written word and the laws they forgot to let faith be the determining factor in accepting it as truth and the revelation it brings with its prophecy.  They did not allow faith to be the guiding factor in their understanding of the word as they read it and applied it to their lives.  When faith is allowed in the equation it opens the mind and heart so the written word would be the truth, and they failed to let faith be their guide.  

  “So I will bless Thee as long as I live; I will lift up my hands in Thy name.”  Psalms 63:4

  “O Sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him.”  Psalms 98:1

  “Bless the Lord, all you works of His, in all places of His dominion; bless the Lord, O my soul!”  Psalms 103: 22

  “Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.  Grace be with all those who love our Lord Jesus Christ with a love incorruptible.”  Amen


  Mark Johnson 

  Psalm 63, 98, 105; Amos 9:11-15; 2 Thessalonians 2:1-3, 13-17; John 5:30-47

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