What do you notice here?
I you he she we they
Anything? How about
you he she I we they
We all have times of heartache in our lives. If we haven’t, then it’s one of those “not yet” things – sooner or later, heartache will probably come.
It’s part of life, part of growing up. We get emotionally attached to someone, then it all goes wrong. Everything falls apart, our lives crumble into sadness, and we find ourselves, as Elvis Presley sang, in Heartbreak Hotel.
It hurts, deep inside it hurts. “That’s it – no more relationships! I’m not going through that again! Never again! I’m finished with love!” (I can’t remember what age I was when it happened to me, but I’m glad that I changed my mind about being finished with love!)
How big is your faith?
In our Celebrate Recovery programme, we have been talking quite a bit about faith and, to help people get a grasp of what Jesus said about faith (Matthew 17:20), we gave everyone a mustard seed. If we have faith that big, we can move a mountain. It has quite an impact when you do this – but I strongly recommend that you sellotape the mustard seed to a piece of paper – the last thing you want to happen is that they lose the mustard seed, because that is just a powerful anti-message that faith can be easily lost!
Then Jesus got into the boat and started across the lake with his disciples. Suddenly, a fierce storm struck the lake, with waves breaking into the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him up, shouting, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” Jesus responded, “Why are you afraid? You have so little faith!” Then he got up and rebuked the wind and waves, and suddenly all was calm. (Matt 8:23-26, NLT)
I am very aware of the fact that the Bible is a living word that speaks into the situation that you find yourself in. So often I read a passage and it means something different or something more than it ever did before.
Sometimes, though, I think this is often the case because I don’t think deeply enough about it – I just scan read, just as I have always skimmed the passage in the past, and I miss something, or put something in that was never there. This passage in Matthew is one such story.
The Pharisees get a roasting in the New Testament. They first pop up in Matthew 3 and John the Baptist lays into them immediately.
But when he saw many Pharisees and Sadducees coming to watch him baptize, he denounced them. “You brood of snakes!” he exclaimed. “Who warned you to flee God’s coming wrath? (Matt 3:7, NLT)
He doesn’t see their fine robes or their importance – he just sees a brood of snakes. From there on it doesn’t get any better for them. They just don’t seem to be able to see what is happening in front of them. Many people see the miracles of Christ; they only see the works of Satan. Many see a Saviour; they see a threat to peace.