Meditation

22nd Sunday After Pentecost 10-24-2021

Jeremiah 31:7-9; Job 42:1-6, 10-17; Hebrews 7:23-28; Mark 10:46-52

Our Lesson from Jeremiah is certainly one we need reminding of. God’s people, that’s you and me, should praise Him continually because He loves all of us and restores us into Himself. The remnant exists because of God’s love, not because of any human qualifications or accomplishments. Unlike humans, God does not place limits on who can be part of His people. He sought to create a people Israel as His own. Rebellion brought division and finally exile. Still, He promised to reunite them as His people, and He did not want any group excluded. He continues to work to incorporate all groups and classes of people into His church, Christians seem to forget at times who the church truly belongs to. By creation, God is Father of all peoples. He does maintain a fatherly interest in His people; the “first born” whom He created in the Exodus and whom He promised to deliver even from the punishment He imposed. This, beloved, speaks directly to the enormous love for us all.

Elihu praised the sovereignty and justice of God, while severely condemning Job. The Inspired Book of Job wants us to accept the statements about God but to learn that such theological insight does not give us the right to condemn another human being because we do not have God’s wisdom or sovereignty. God’s justice is not the only answer to human suffering. Instead he appealed to the justice of God in trying prove that Job had sinned some great sin to bring so much calamity upon himself. Both Job and his friends appealed to the justice of God. Their point of disagreement came not over God’s justice but over Job’s individual case. Gods God’s justice mean that all suffering can be traced back to specific sin? Does God’s justice allow humans to judge other people as sinners by their material and physical prosperity? The friends said yes. The Book of Job says no, and I agree with the Book of Job, on this matter. We are never to judge another, for we have no way of knowing everything about every action or situation, but God alone does.

In Hebrews, Jesus’ priesthood is like that of Melchizedek in that it is a direct appointment of God and is eternal. Jesus, unlike Melchizedek is perfectly obedient and sinless. A priests represents people to God. Jesus has done that for us as no one else could or does. He has no successor, for He lives and serve forever as our High Priest. Praying to the Father on our behalf. His one sacrifice of Himself serves forever as the way to salvation. In verse 25, “Therefore his is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them.” The final verse in Hebrews states: “For the law appoints as high priests men who are weak, but the oath, which came after the law, appointed the Son, who has been made perfect forever.” Hebrews is among the least read, least studied, and least preached from books of the New Testament. Many readers over the centuries have problems with its descriptions of ancient religious practices; however readers in every century have been confused and disturbed by its harsh warnings. However, those who dig in Hebrews discover that it has much to say to us even today.

From the gospel of Mark tells the story of Bartimaeus encountering Jesus in the midst of a large crowd. Bartimaeus was blind and sitting by the roadside begging for money, it was his only way of making a living. He hears Jesus is coming and had heard Jesus of Nazareth, “Jesus Son of David, have mercy on me!” The crowd tried to hush him up, but he called out louder, “Jesus Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus finally stopped and said, “Call him,” and he came before Jesus. Jesus asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” This blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” He answered , “Go,’ said Jesus, “your faith has healed you.”

Bartimaeus didn’t understand messiahship as Jesus did, but he expressed his faith with courage and persistence. Jesus rewarded his faith with healing. Prayers for healing depends on faith and on God’s purposes, always. Amen.

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