On: December 23, 2014 | By: admin | Under: Blog | Comments: Comments are off
(Jesus speaking) “I assure you that there were many widows in Israel in Elijah’s time, when the sky was shut for three and a half years and there was a severe famine throughout the land. Yet Elijah was not sent to any of them, but to a widow in Zarephath in the region of Sidon. And there were many in Israel with leprosy in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed – only Naaman the Syrian.” [Luke 4:25-27]
Jesus opens the Israelites’ eyes to see that God is interested in all people, not just the privileged people of God. In Old Testament times, the Jewish people appeared tounderstand their chosen status to mean that they were the exclusive beneficiaries of God’s blessing, rather than being entrusted with exemplifying,for all the world to see, how life should be lived in relationship with the Creator. He wanted them to look out and minister to a needy World.
The fact that the gospel has spread throughout the World, firstly through the apostle Paul and his team, more recently through the strenuous efforts of missionary organisations, suggests that things have changed as the Holy Spirit has directed and empowered the church. But where Christians rely on their own resources to live out their life of faith, there will always be a regressive tendency; to slip back into inward looking and comfortable ways, where God’s blessing is kept to those on the inside.
Father God, teach me the lessons of history, that I might not repeat the mistakes of Your people of old. Point me outwards, that I might observe what You are doing in the world away from the church and enable me to play the part you want me to in reaching out to share Your love. Amen.