Deuteronomy 5:1-6:25, Luke 7:11-35, Psalms 68:19-35, Proverbs 11:29-31
Today is the 26th day of the month of March. Welcome to the Daily Audio Bible. I’m Brian. It is great to be here every day. Right now…I don't…and this won’t be the last time I say stuff like this. I say stuff like this all the time throughout the year, but when I’m calling out these days and I’m looking at the fact that we’re at March 26th, by the way, happy birthday to my brother. I just…I mean…it just very much feels like it was just New Year’s Day, like we just started this journey and we really are about to finish ¼ of the year. And it reminds me in a good way that time is flying. And, you know, if we’re not here than we weren’t here, right? So, if we’re always out in front of ourselves trying to get things done in advance which is…I’m raising my hand, it’s the story of my life…then we look at a calendar and realize a bunch of time has past and where did it go, right, because we were always out in front of ourselves and we weren’t here. So, I wasn’t planning on talking about that at the top of the Daily Audio Bible, but I imagine that I’m not the only one. And, so, let’s be here now as we allow God’s word to wash over us. We’re reading from the Good News Translation this week and we’re reading from the book of Deuteronomy and the book of Deuteronomy is the final book in the Torah and it is the final three conversations or discourses that Moses gave to the people before he left them, like before he died, before he became history. So, these are the things that Moses, who has gone through a lot with these people, this is what he feels like is important to say. In today’s reading we will begin his second of three discourses. Deuteronomy chapter 5 and 6 today.
Okay. So, in today’s reading from the gospel of Luke, John the Baptist who has been has been taken into custody by Herod sends a couple of his disciples to Jesus to ask, “are you the one?” Kind of an interesting question. Why would John ask such a question? And this is where we begin to brush up against the apocalyptic worldview of the time and we’ve kind of talked about this before and we’re not gonna get into like super big depth about this other than from time to time, we need to mention what we’re rubbing up against because it gives us context for what we’re reading in the Bible, but also context for our own lives because we have an apocalyptic worldview. So, essentially what we’re saying when we’re saying apocalyptic worldview sounds so ominous is essentially that the world is heading in some sort of direction, right? And usually as it’s passed down from generation to generation the direction that we’re heading in is not a good direction, right? Things are only getting worse and that will lead us to a breaking point or a tipping point where things could get very, very messy, but what is happening then is something new will be born out of that, a new heaven and a new earth as it were. That’s how we as Christians would speak, but this apocalyptic worldview is essentially the sense that were going somewhere, and things are going to get worse before they get better but they’re going to get better. In the first century when Jesus ministry and John’s ministry were taking place, I mean, things had gone through quite a long time of turmoil. The children of Israel that we’re reading about in Deuteronomy right now, they haven’t crossed over the Jordan River and gone into the promised land. In Jesus time they’ve already long been kicked out of the promised land for their unfaithfulness to God. So, there back in their ancestral land but it’s not their land and so there’s all kinds of turmoil and uprisings. So, they are looking for a Messiah. They are looking for somebody who can rise up, rally all of the Hebrew people together, restore them to God, and see God to do some of the miraculous overthrow that he had done in times past. So, right? They have in their ancestry the story of God coming with the plagues on Egypt. So, if God can do that to Egypt, He can certainly throw the Roman Empire out of this land and that is what they want, and they believe it will happen through this one person, God’s anointed, the Messiah, the one who was sent to do exactly that. So, this is why John sends a couple of disciples to say, “is that you? Just checking. It is it you?” Because they have a worldview and a certain set of expectations about what the Messiah’s job and roll is and what the Messiah will accomplish. Of course, Jesus will accomplish all of those things, it will just be on a cosmic level and not just a temporary fix for a certain generation or time. So, Jesus sends word back to John basically telling his disciples, “look, go tell John what you are seeing. Don’t go just tell John miracles are taking place. Go tell him what you are seeing because what is taking place is what it looks like for the kingdom to come”, right? So, wherever Jesus is going restoration is happening, the kingdom is coming. Wherever He is the kingdom is. Friends, that is still true, and He is within you. Wherever you go, so goes the kingdom. You can walk into these situations with the kingdom and ignore the power that you have because of that and walk away, or you can be Christ like. Jesus, in the gospel of Luke today after this discourse about John kind of finishes everything up by saying, “how can I speak about this generation?” And he talks about how there are kids in the marketplace and kids play for other kids wedding songs, but nobody dances and so they decide to play sad songs, but nobody cries. What Jesus is effectively saying here is, “you are never satisfied. God could send you…and He’s talking about John here…this prophet that lives a very austere very, very simple life with a fiery message, that’s not good enough for you. And then the Son of Man comes and He’s not doing that He’s eating and drinking, being among you, going where people who need a doctor are. That’s not good enough for you. Nothing is good enough for you.” This is what Jesus is saying. If we just push pause and just consider what we’re talking about in the gospel of Luke today, we are already pinned to the wall, we have already been exposed. We do all of the same things, but lest we think this is a new invention on planet Earth, this kind of thing, forgetting who you are and where you’ve come from and who God is and where you’re going, this has always been happening. And, so, we turn the page backward from the gospel of Luke and we go back into our reading from the book of Deuteronomy today and Moses is giving his second discourse and what is he telling the people? “Tell your children about what you are experiencing today. When they ask questions answer them. Pass the story forward, who you are, who God is, where you are going. And, so, we’ll close our little chat today by reading a passage back to you from the book of Deuteronomy. The reason that I’m reading this back to you is to remind you who you are, who God is, and where you’re going. These words spoken to the children of Israel are certainly in to their context, but these words also mimic the story of our lives. “We were slaves of the king of Egypt and the Lord rescued us by His great power. With our own eyes we saw him work miracles and do terrifying things to the Egyptians and to their king and all his officials. He freed us from Egypt to bring us here and give us this land as he had promised our ancestors, he would. Then the Lord our God commanded us to obey these laws and to honor Him. If we do He will always watch over our nation and keep it prosperous. If we faithfully obey everything that God has commanded us he will be pleased with us.”
So, Father, we come before You, acknowledging this and falling to our knees because we are not capable of doing this in our own strength, but You came for us and You made it possible for us to walk in union and in unity and in collaboration and in relationship with You. And, so, as we walk with You we certainly can walk on the pathways that will only lead us to righteousness, will only remind us of our identity, will only remind us of who You are and where we’re going. Come Holy Spirit we pray. In Jesus’ name we ask. Amen.
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And that’s it for today. I’m Brian I love you and I’ll be waiting for you here tomorrow.