Pastor Joynt's Devotionals

The Other Jesus, Part 3, Week 3, Day 1

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MATTHEW 22:1-3

Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come.” 

Middle Eastern hosts issued invitations in advance of their parties so would-be guests could clear their calendars and save the date. A second invitation, or summons, would come when the feast was ready (see verses 3-5). In Jesus’ parable, the shockingly rude guests accept the first invitation and forego the summons. The fact that this is a royal invitation makes the refusal to come a clear insult. God as the divine king has invited Israel to the Messianic feast, sending his Son, and the majority of invitees have refused to join the celebration—they do not want to come! The invitation is a call to joy—nothing is more joyous than a Jewish wedding—except a royal Jewish wedding in honor of God’s Messiah who came to fulfill all God’s promises to his covenant “bride.” Why do you think the majority of Jews missed the party? Was it a consequence of Jesus’ message or their own attitudes? 

PRAYER

Gracious God, it is so tragic that many Jews missed their Messiah. Help us to be guests at your Kingdom party and let our lives show the joy of connection and communion with the king. May others see the celebration and be drawn towards life, and health, and peace. We ask through your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.  

 

Posted by David Joynt with

The Other Jesus, Part 2, Week 2, Day 4

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LUKE 9:59

To another he said, “Follow Me!.” But he said, “Lord, let me go bury my father.”

Commitment anxiety is a common problem in relationships. Freedom is falsely understood as unlimited, unconstrained choices. But what happens when we actually choose something or someone? We limit our choices, of course, but we know a deeper freedom by doing so. When you fall in love, you must make sacrifices of time and energy, and you must the put the needs and desires of your beloved above your own, but these sacrifices and restrictions are not a burden hard to embrace, because they deepen the rewards of love.

This man’s father has not just died on the day he is asked to follow Jesus, or he’d be involved in the burial process. He is asking for an unlimited furlough until his father’s life is over and wants to keep his discipleship choice open until that indefinite moment. Meanwhile, he’ll miss the once in history work of the Son of Man and the events that become the hinge of history and the heart of the disciples’ witness.

PRAYER

Gracious God, Focus my heart on your will and ways. Do not let me push you aside as a later agenda item. Draw me close and let me find my freedom in commitment. Give time, today, a sense of urgency as I seek to fulfill your purpose. Amen.

 

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