“The Family of God: From Their Treasure, Things Old and New”
In our Gospel reading today, after Jesus has taught His disciples what the Kingdom of Heaven is like, He asks them, “Have you understood all these things?” The disciples reply “Yes.” If this question were asked to each one of us, could we give the same response?
Do we fully understand the love of God for us? 1 John 4:16 tells us “and we have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us. God is love, and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him.” His love for us: that He gave His only begotten son that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.
Have we fully understood “Jesus the Messiah”? A prophesy in Isaiah 7:14 says “Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call him Emmanuel.” And in chapter 9:6, “For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; and the government will rest on His shoulder; and His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace”. Then in Luke 2:10-11, “An angel said to them, ‘Do not be afraid: for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which shall be for all the people; for today in the city of David there has been born for you a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.’”
Have we ever understood why Jesus gave His life for us to save us from eternal condemnation? We find in 1 John 2:2, “…He Himself is the propitiation for our sins….” Have we ever understood the resurrection of Christ? In 1 Peter 1:3 it says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, (in order for us) to obtain an inheritance which is imperishable and undefiled and will not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.”
Have we ever understood why Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit, as Scripture relates in John 20: 22? “…… He breathed on them, and said to them ‘Receive the Holy Spirit.’” Let us realize that the Holy Spirit is His very breath in us. Before Jesus ascended to heaven He gave the Holy Spirit, our Helper, to be with us. Have we ever understood that all these things are so we can be witnesses for Christ? Acts 1:7 states “Jesus said to them, “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority; but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and even to the remotest part of the earth”. This command was addressed to the apostles, but it is also for us today as Christ’s followers.
Have we ever understood that we should love God above all? “Jesus said, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”. Have we ever understood that we should help the poor, the needy and the downtrodden? Matthew 25:35-40 reminds us, “For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me drink; I was stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me…….Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.”
Having understood all these things, brethren, as our Christian way of living, our lives must be in line with this, God’s will for us; even though we are all, to one degree or another, still a work in progress.