Pastor Mark's Weekly Blog, Uncategorized

Good News: Judgment and Rest – Jesus is Lord of  Sabbath Rest

Blog banner with the image of a highway and the word: "Journey" for the study of the Book of Matthew.

And the light shines in the darkness and the darkness did not comprehend it.

Evil.  We have a problem – the problem of evil.  Many have tried to define it, deny it, explain it, or explain it away.  Is there really any doubt that it exists?

If we are into noticing, we can see it.  Things not the way they are supposed to be.  Evil within and evil without.  The gnawing sense that something is deeply wrong.  We can see it in war, shootings in a store, or the ease to ignore – the most beautiful of all impulses, to love.

Evil seeks to destroy, to harm, to shun, to mistreat and to bully.  It seeks to ruin, to divide, to weigh down and to chide – to kill at will and never gets its fill – just for the glee of it.  It turns what is right inside wrong.  Replaces hate for ‘get along.’  Evil is of the devil (I don’t like capitalizing devil because I don’t like giving him credit).  This king of pain has a name, its shame.  If only he would acknowledge it and repent and turn from his wicked ways.  But that doesn’t seem realistic as his nature is to dig in his heels and fight.

But the Devil (there, I capitalized it) is a formidable foe.  Yes, he has been deeply wounded and his days are numbered, yet he prowls ‘like a roaring lion’ seeking whom he may devour.  And the truth of this is sickly sour.

How are we to understand it (him) and confront it (him)?  “Deliver us from evil, or ‘the evil one’, is Jesus teaching on prayer.  This is what we should be praying.  Also, ‘thy (God’s) kingdom come and thy (God’s) will be done on earth as it is in heaven’ is another good prayer.  In the face of such incredible evil we are witnessing again and again, we pray, “Lord have mercy, Lord come and save us”, as well as, “Lord come quickly!”

We are being called to look within and ask God to cast out any hate that may be hiding in our heart.  We are being called to see the hurt of sin and the brokenness it causes and respond as agents of change through the myriad ways that God’s love can be shown.  Called to seek God in all our ways and to put on love in all things.  Even in the face of evil and hate, the love of God is greater.  For such a time as this we have been given life and called to follow Jesus.  Our world is in need of good news.  And God is calling on us to bring it.

This coming Sunday, Jesus invites us through the text to come to him and receive from him a yoke (rule of life) that is light.  Jesus invites us to come to him and find rest.  He goes on to explain that he is the truth and essence of Sabbath rest.

Jesus explains this by essentially saying, “I am greater than King David, the Temple, the Scriptural law, and the Sabbath law.”  Read the text from Matthew 11:25-12:21 and see if you can find out the places that Jesus says these things.

So what does it mean to enter into the sabbath rest of Jesus?  See you Sunday,

Pastor Mark

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