Exodus 2:11-3:22 ~ Matthew 17:10-27 ~ Psalm 22:1-18 ~ Proverbs 5:7-14
Today is January 26th. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian and it is my pleasure and a joy to be here with you today around the global campfire, taking the next step forward in our adventure through the scriptures this year. So we’re just getting going in the second book of the Bible, the book of Exodus, and we’re reading from the Contemporary English Version this week. Exodus chapter 2, verse 11 through 3, verse 22 today.
In the book of Matthew today, Jesus is exasperated, almost like his patience has run out for a second. “How much longer must I be with you? Why do I have to put up with you? You people are too stubborn to have any faith.” So what’s that all about? Where is that coming from?
What sparked this is a boy keeps falling into fire and water. He has epilepsy. He has seizures and, according to the scriptures, there is demonic activity. The boy’s father has brought this boy to Jesus’ disciples who have attempted to heal him but have been unsuccessful. That is what brings this exasperation up in Jesus, this frustration. But why?
The boy in question here was brought to Jesus and was made whole again, was made well again. It wasn’t until later that Jesus unpacked his frustration. Privately the disciples asked, “Why couldn’t we do that?” And Jesus’ answer was, “It’s because you don’t have enough faith.” “But I can promise you this. If you had faith no larger than a mustard seed, you could tell this mountain to move from here to there and it would. Everything would be possible for you.” This is fascinating because it is not the only time Jesus will behave this way.
So what is the plot behind the story here? Is it that if we had more faith we could be superhuman? Is that what Jesus was being, superhuman? We look at him that way a lot, but the Bible doesn’t say anything about superhuman. It says fully human which would mean that when we look at Jesus, we’re looking at how things were always supposed to be for us.
The echoes of Eden are all over this. Just a few short weeks ago we began this journey, and we began the journey in the beginning and we watched the whole story unfold. There was a perfect person, Adam, and a perfect woman, Eve, which is why theologically Jesus is often called the second Adam, which is a little bit of a weird theological term. The point of the term is that Jesus was sinless like the first person ever created was. In other words, how it was supposed to be, fully human. And Jesus came to redeem people who had fallen and devolved into inhumanity but had gotten so used to it, that it was normal. The limitations of the fall had become normal. So now when we make colossal mistakes, an affirmation might be ‘you’re only human.’ But is that true? Have we’ve fallen to the point that we are not fully human, because if we were fully human we would look like Adam. We would look like Jesus.
Jesus came to call us back to ourselves again, creatures that are made in the image of God and intertwined with God inseparably. In the fall in the Garden of Eden that we read just a few weeks ago in Genesis chapter 3, that was blown to bits and mankind was separated from God. But Jesus wasn’t separated from God. He was fully human while being fully divine.
So these moments of exasperation start to make sense when we realize the frustration of God being here in person, as one of us, saying, “It’s upside down what you’ve done. I’ve come to turn it right side up if you would just see what is happening here. If you would just believe. If you would allow your faith to engage, a faith that doesn’t know the word impossible, then if your faith was just the size of a mustard seed you could move a mountain.”
Faith is a force beyond anything we have ever created to get things done in this world. Jesus said, “You could tell this mountain to move from here to there and it would. Everything would be possible for you.” And isn’t Jesus just describing his own reality? And isn’t he plainly saying we can have that too? Or is this just a theological concept? We like to pour things into theological concepts so that we can explain them away sometimes or defer them or not have to deal with them. I don’t think Jesus is talking theologically here. I think he is just describing reality and it is frustrating. You can understand why. Beings created in the image of the creator, built and made to be intertwined with God and have authority on this earth to make it whole, to make it like it is supposed to be, have simply put limitations on what they think can be done.
As always, God does not usurp a person’s will. He does not override. Love isn’t love, relationship isn’t true if there is no way out of it, if it is all forced. So it is a collaboration that we’re invited into where impossible isn’t something that really exists. I know that is pretty idealistic. It just wasn’t idealism to Jesus. It was reality and he was frustrated that we could not open our eyes and see it.
There is so much more for us all if we would open our eyes. And if we could just work hard enough to have the faith of a mustard seed, if we could just walk with God like Jesus did, like a fully human person did and that Jesus made possible for us all, then there is no telling what could be done in this world. Maybe we’re still settling for far, far less than the gospel offers us – full humanity, restored, regenerated, made new, renewed, new creatures. This is all over the New Testament. Maybe the door is open wide and we’re still settling for far less. And maybe that is frustrating to God because it certainly was to Jesus.
Jesus, as we do many days, we invite you into this, into what you’ve spoken through your word today and even untangling that, even just beginning to peel the onion of ourselves and see all the limitations that we’ve placed on you because we’ve placed them on ourselves and all of the ways that we’ve just kind of fabricated a reality of impossibility that doesn’t exist. How are we going to pull that apart in the different areas of our lives? We could never really do it. All we can do is walk with you and invite your Holy Spirit. So come, Holy Spirit, and lead us away from this impossibility and show us what is possible, what it is you’re sending us into, what is our mission right now, today and in the next season, how it is that we’re supposed to walk into impossible situations and then they become possible because we are there and you are there and we are collaborating, because nothing is impossible. Help us, Jesus, because this is too big for us. It always was too big for us. What we have is what is not too big for us, but what you are saying is there is so much more. You have only scratched the surface of what life can be when it is whole and intertwined with the Spirit of God within. So come Holy Spirit. Our focus is just getting our almost nonexistent faith to simply be the size of a mustard seed. Help us God. As we see you stretching us, as we see ourselves reaching precipices in our lives where we have to step out in faith, may we understand what you are doing is stretching us into who we were created to be. So often we get to those places where we have to step out in faith and we shrink back and pray against it. We can see why that would be frustrating because you invited us into so much more. Out of fear and lack of faith we have shrunk back. We have said no. We can’t go out beyond what we think we can manage and protect ourselves in. We don’t really believe. We don’t really trust. We don’t really have faith. In everything may we have faith. In the places where we don’t have faith, we invite your Holy Spirit into those things. May we understand that you are not trying to make us uncomfortable for your own pleasure, because you like to see us squirm. May we see that you are fathering us, you are maturing us, you are inviting us deeper into wholeness where nothing is impossible. Come Jesus, we ask in your mighty name, amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian. I love you and I will be waiting for you here tomorrow.
Community Prayer Requests and Praise Reports
Hi, this is Lisa, the Encourager. I just listened to January 20th and I was very moved by the message that Jesus, the parable that he had for us in the weeds and the wheat. I never really…you know, that kind of got brushed over in other parts of the story that Jesus talked about. I never really focused in on that, the weeds and the wheat. So I just want to encourage everybody, wherever you are right now, that we all, including myself, become strong, sturdy wheat in everything that we do and everything that we say and all of the ways that we interact with people and all the Dabbers out there will be strong wheat and that we won’t be weeds and we’ll think about that and envision that because that was Jesus’ word to all of us. Remember to be the wheat. We long to be the wheat, not the weeds. So I’m going to pray for all of you Dabbers out there tonight. I’m going to encourage all of you in this prayer, you running by a road, you laying down in bed. Yes, you laying down in bed. You sitting down at a table getting ready to eat something as you listen to your Dabbers, everybody out there, this is for you, this prayer, and myself as well. Dear Heavenly Father, I pray, dear Lord, for all the Dabbers out there that want to be wheat. We want to be wheat for you. We want to be part of your Kingdom. We want you to be part of our lives. We thank you for that story that was so clear and so evident of what you want us to do. You don’t want us to be the weeds of this world. You want us to be strong. You want us to grow in the word, grow in the Holy Spirit, grow in our relationships, grow in our prayers. You want that for all of us, God. And I thank you so much.
Hi DAB family. This is Will from beautiful Bozeman, MT. It is 2-something in the morning of the 21st of January and I just got done listening to the January 19th podcast and Brian, your commentary hit me right where I’m sitting. I just so appreciate that. I’m one of those people who is stuck in the loop and earlier tonight before I listened to the podcast I was just sitting in my seat and I just said, “God, help me. Just be in my heart.” You know, I found myself kind of flaming and complaining. Here I know God has a ministry for me but other things are going on in my life with my home and family. My kids’ vehicles are breaking down and yet I’m in this loop. And it’s my fault. I need to just trust God completely, be sold out. So even with margin, you know, making room for God in my life has been a challenge and a struggle as I set my heart and mind to do the things that I need to do and not follow through because either I’m worn out or oversleep or something. This is my first prayer request for this year. I wanted to just pray for the DAB, but I need to just confess this. So Father, I just lift my own soul and heart up to you and those other DAB family members who are in this loop, that God, you would help us to be faithful so that we could __________ so that you could trust us with what is so precious to you. Give us the strength we need to glorify you. Fill our hearts and…
Hi family. I love you guys so much and I pray for every one of you. This is my first year with you, as I used to just read the Bible myself. However, because of the seizures, I can’t read easily anymore so Daily Audio Bible is such an immense blessing. And to hear from every one of you is super wonderful. I’m pretty bedbound so I haven’t been able to leave the house since last Spring and I didn’t realize how much I was missing and I really do love to hear from each of you. I hurt when you hurt. I rejoice with you when your prayers are answered and I pray with you, for you. Both of my parents, they are long time listeners. My mom, Verna, has called in before. Please continue to pray for my sister battling with Lyme disease. She is also trying to get her nursing degree. I pray that she would be able to go to God every day and rely solely on him for her strength, that she would receive God’s complete healing on every level. For myself, I am going to see a new doctor on the 27th and I’m really hopeful about it. I’m also nervous. I believe that she will help, but like the father of the boy that had seizures in the Bible said to Jesus, “I believe but help my unbelief.” It’s just so many times before they haven’t been able to help, but I believe this time is different. I really do. This time they’ll find out why I have seizures, so many. Please, please pray with me that the doctor will have wisdom in this situation. I’m so thankful that…
Hi, I just called. I realized that I forgot to say my name. I’m Gigi from Gainesville and I had to hang-up earlier because I was starting to have a seizure. I’m really thankful to God for giving me the strength to call in. That was a prayer of mine that I’ve had for some time. I know that you will hear from me soon with another praise report and I hope to call in more.
This message is for Salvation is Mine in California. I just heard your plea for prayer today as you’ve been diagnosed with cancer. My name is Bob. I’m from Michigan. I too am sitting here with a diagnosis of cancer, but your plea made me realize that I need to be praying for you and not just for myself. My world has been centered around my cancer and my needs lately, but now I cry out to the Lord on your behalf. I don’t know what your local community is doing for you, but I can tell you that I am walking and breathing in the prayers of my local community from the Daily Audio Bible and all of the prayers just being lifted. May you be blessed and cling to Proverbs 3:5-6: Trust the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. I’m praying for you today. May your spirits be lifted and all your anxiety be given to him. God bless you.
Hi family. This is Francine from Tennessee. My heart has been broken for Brian in the loss of his mother and I’ve been praying for you, Brian. I am caring for my 81-year-old mother-in-law and my brother and sister and I pray that now that you have had the chance, that you could get some soul rest because caregiving is so emotional, taxing, tiring, hard, humbling, and beautiful at so many times. I’m going to read a quote from Beecher and I changed it to a lady. When the sun goes beyond the horizon, she is not set. The heavens glow for a full hour after her departure. And when a great and good woman sets, the sky of this world is luminous long after she is out of sight. Such a woman cannot die out of this world. When she goes she leaves behind so much of herself. Being dead, she speaks. You’re in my prayers. I love you family. Thank you for your prayers for my own mom.
Hi everyone. My name is Aretha from South Carolina. I’ve only been listening to the Daily Audio Bible since the beginning of this year and I have truly been blessed by it. It so encourages me. Brian, you’re awesome. I love the reading. I love just the understanding that I’m getting. And also I want to say Biola, I think I’m saying her name right, you, my lady, are so encouraging. I love how you are praying constantly for people and just your energy that you have for Christ. I love it. And I love the way that everyone is just coming on here and just being honest and open and just looking for help because you don’t find too many people who want to kind of put their business out there. I am just so thankful for this program and this family because you can’t find people that are right here with you that can give you the encouragement that you give here. I just thank the Lord for you guys. I’m just looking forward to continue listening, continue for the Lord to bless my life, and continue for the Lord to just bless you guys. I write down your prayer requests and pray for you guys. I want all you guys to pray for me and my family. My husband and I in church been filling our home and it has been a little aggravating, but I ask you guys to pray for that. And just pray for me, that I will grow mightily in the Lord. And I really thank you guys again just for your encouragement and your honesty.