We’re on a quest together during the Discovering the Bible Challenge to read the Bible looking for clues and messages from God. Our first mission is to recognize God’s majesty and grace. In today’s passage I see this coming through God’s love and compassion.
I have always loved this story that Jesus told to help illustrate God’s love and desire to be in relationship with us. We don’t have to be perfect to be loved by God. He loves us all, even those who go “missing.”
I love how the Gospel of Mark starts right here, with John’s ministry preparing the way. When is the last time you asked yourself, “how am I showing up for Jesus?” When people look at you, do they see Jesus at all?
Since none of us really know what Jesus’ looks like physically, although he’s been depicted in all sorts of ways over the years, we know what he looks like in behavior and character. That’s what I’m talking about here. How much did John really know about his cousin Jesus before he started preaching?
Adonijah did much more than make a mistake when he declared himself king. He opened the door to hatred and revenge from his brother, the true king, and severe disappointment from his father. Sometimes we avoid doing things for fear of what “other people might think.”
I’m the first to admit I’ve had that worry a time or two or two thousand during my life. I’m a people pleaser, and I want to fix things. Pretty much everything that crosses my path gets “fixed” if I have much to do with it. It’s a behavior I’ve worked on controlling for many years.
King David continues to be reacquainted with the people of the land. Just a few chapters ago (Chapter 16), we read of encounters with Ziba and Shimei. You may recall that Shimei was previously harassing David as he left Jerusalem, jeering and throwing rocks at him. Now the same man is welcoming David home.
It appears David did not hold a grudge against this man. Shimei had to believe that David would be seeking revenge for his past disrespectful behavior. We see Shimei bowing down, crying out, “My lord the king, please forgive me.”
The same God who destroyed the Egyptians so his people could flee from their enslavement promises to cause the Babylonians to flee! This will allow a new generation to return home. It’s highly likely that even though the Israelites had been in captivity, the story of the exodus from Egypt would have been retold often. Just as likely the celebration of Passover would have continued in some fashion, probably in secret. When hearing these words then, the people would surely take note of Isaiah’s message from God!
And what does God say now? “But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.” I don’t think God meant for them to truly “forget.” His point was, “you haven’t seen anything yet!” We can all think of examples of where we have seen God at work in our lives. We simply need to think of Jesus. John 3:16 says, “For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” God came to earth as one of us!