Christ has discussed and warned his disciples about the struggles and issues that the church will face in time as they go to carry out Christ’s mission. The temptation is not to go forward with Christ’s mission. I mean if this is a kingdom that only involves cross bearing plus suffering then why go? Christ gives the assurance that we go because we will receive the prophet’s reward. So, what is that prophet’s reward?
Christ’s disciples will face trials, struggles, and hardships. Christ has already mentioned the hardships that await us. However, Christ goes on to speak of other problems that tempt us beyond just the comforts of this world. Christ tells us that we might have to walk away from family to be incorporated into the kingdom of God. How can Christ talk about disrupting the family? Why would we want to give up these earthly comforts for Christ?
Our Lord calls us to be light in the world. So often we think that we need greater strategies to impact our particular circles. This is certainly something to pray about and to potentially discuss with one another. However, our Lord calls us to look beyond this immediate age. Where are we called to look? How do we know that our Lord is with us as we look to heaven’s glory?
Jesus announces that the kingdom of heaven is present. This is great to hear, but what do we do with John the Baptist being arrested? What do we do with Christ retreating to Galilee? The issue then: how can Christ say that the kingdom is present when the context of this chapter seems to contradict His message?
Strange star gazers from the east come to worship Christ. These are men that we would expect to be hostile to the mission of Christ, and do everything possible to destroy Christ. We would expect that Herod who is the king of the jews embrace the Messiah for the Messiah is God with us. How can strangers expected to be opposed to the Messiah’s mission show the power of the Messiah’s mission?
The Lord calls us to worship and to make the Lord our focal place. When we are called to worship as a people what is the basis of the Lord calling us to worship? How are we called out of the world to Worship our God and our King?
Abraham is one who has called out of his land, away from his father, and away from idolatry. He is called to worship the one true God. Does this mean that only those who are genetically tied to Abraham have life in Abraham? How do we know that the blessings for Abraham are for the nations rather than one nation or nationality?
The interactions between Job and the counselors has not been overly positive. In fact, Job has been beaten up pretty badly in this process and their interactions have by and large bypassed each other. One would hope that at some point the gospel would come out. Unfortunately, Job continues to cling to his righteousness, but is he beginning to see that his righteousness is not enough? Is Job finally starting to see that retreating into the pit of Sheol is not a refuge at all?
When we ask our heavenly father to forgive us our debts we are also asking that we forgive our debtors meaning those who sin against us. The reality is that there is a cost involved with forgiveness and we might not always be willing to bear the cost of it. What is more, the bigger problem is that we might not think that we ourselves need that much forgiveness. So, what does the older brother or the older son tell us about forgiveness in the kingdom? Why does Christ tell us that this man had two sons?
When we talk about the Kingdom of God we normally associate the Kingdom of God as being something that is present here and now. So, if the Kingdom is present here and now then why would we ask the Lord for the Kingdom to come? The Lord will establish His kingdom despite any forces that may stand against it. So, what does it mean that we ask for the Lord’s kingdom to come?