Zechariah slowly closed his eyes as he heard the gate latch. He didn’t turn around. He had spent a lifetime investing in this farm, and a third of his wealth was now bouncing down the dirt lane out front. In the pockets of the son he loved.
Does anyone else care so much about you that they notice every time you sit down and every time you stand up? Does anyone else know you well enough to be able to read your thoughts…before you think them?
Do you ever struggle with doubt in your walk with Christ?
I just finished a slow read through the book of John during my personal time with God, and I found great encouragement in the number of sensory details John employs.
Did you know he wrote the word “see” (or “saw” or “seen”) 115 times in only 21 chapters? He used the word “hear” 53 times. He includes scene after scene of seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting, and touching:
Did you know your husband is not Jesus?
Oh, wait. You’ve known that since day two of the honeymoon (or maybe day one).
[I know some of you aren’t currently married. Before you stop reading, consider that what I’m about to say may apply to other relationships in your life.]
Last night, my four year old was insistent that he should be allowed to have his “musical instruments” in bed. He tried to get up multiple times to get them. I told him no, plopped him in bed, and started to sing his goodnight song. While I was singing, he dove under the covers and started crawling toward the end of the bed (where his sheets are never tucked in).
The last time I went fishing, I recall getting lots of bites. Mosquito bites, that is. I can’t say I’m a very successful fisherwoman.
That’s why I’m so encouraged by Jesus’s statement: “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” (Matthew 4:19, ESV)
Not: “Come be fishers of men.” Not: “Go do your best to fish men.” Not: “I see you have potential to become good fishers of men.”
Have you seen the movie The Greatest Showman? In it, the outcasts of society sing: “I’m not a stranger to the dark / hide away, they say / ‘cause we don’t want your broken parts / I’ve learned to be ashamed of all my scars / run away, they say / no one will love you as you are.”
Mark introduces us to a woman just like these outcasts:
…and it was.
Not everything is transferable. Plane tickets, memberships, vacation days…they all belong to the named person and can’t be passed on. In school, a student can’t count a grade earned by another student. It wouldn’t be fair for someone to take a test in someone else’s name.
But sometimes someone can...