January 11

Genesis 27-28; Matthew 8:18-34

 

In chapter 27, you see a family conflict.  Isaac prefers his eldest (by a few seconds!) son Esau, the hairy hunter; while his wife Rebekah prefers Jacob, the smooth skinned younger brother.  Rebekah helps Jacob deceive his father into giving him the blessing, instead of Esau.  Esau plans to kill Jacob, but Rebekah hears of it and helps Jacob flee to his uncle Laban’s home in Haran.

One of the best things about the stories of the Patriarchs and Matriarchs in the Bible is how down to earth and honest the stories are.  You see them as they really were, with all their family conflicts, sins, and limitations.

 

 

We learn in Matthew 8 something of the difficulty and urgency of following Jesus: we can expect to be homeless and to put Jesus above all other relationships.

Jesus was asleep in the boat.  The disciples were in the same boat, but they were afraid of the wind and the waves.  Where are you in that story?  Are we not often just like those disciples, worried and afraid, all the while our Lord Jesus is in the boat with us?  This reminds me of the most common command in the Bible: Do not be afraid.

I am also struck by the reactions of the Gadarenes to Jesus’ healing of the demon-possessed men.  They ask Jesus to leave.  Are they afraid of Jesus’ power to upset their world by healing the men?  Or are they afraid of losing more pigs into the sea?

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