Very often we wonder why some people grow faster than others; or why there are some who hardly grow in their faith. Scripture tells us why some people mature and others don’t. We have read that story many times; but I think we don’t see ourselves in it when we read it. It’s been around for two thousand years now. Wouldn’t you like to know what keeps people from growing? Why some grow at a faster rate than others? Jesus tells us the reason using a very common illustration. Farming or gardening. You know that a seed will not grow the same way on any soil in which you plant it. The condition of the soil is very important; it will determine the productivity of the seed. So also the condition of your heart will determine your growth.
It must have been an awful weekend for the apostles and followers of Jesus; their leaders got arrested on Thursday evening and then nailed to a cross on Friday afternoon. This was a horrifying weekend for followers of Jesus. Their hopes and dreams were shattered by a cross. Jesus was the one they thought would restore the kingdom to Israel, their expected messiah. Jesus had told his followers that they would fall away because of him. “Strike the shepherd and the sheep will be scattered” (Matt. 26:31; Mk.14:27; Zech.13:7). This is exactly what happened when Jesus was apprehended; his followers abandoned him. Fear and insecurity had gripped them. They chose to hide and they would lock the doors for they were afraid, they would be hunted down for being followers of Jesus. The death of Jesus was a shocker to them; they didn’t expect it nor did they want it. The news of the resurrection was also a shocker for Jesus’s followers. They didn’t expect Jesus to rise from the dead either. If they had expected it, they would have gone home thinking “ok Jesus, see you in three days.” They had forgotten Jesus’s words to them about the resurrection. Every time Jesus spoke of his death, he also emphasized raising up on the third day.
Most of us enjoy watching movies; my preference is action where there is a hero who saves the day. The main character of the movie is called “protagonist” (the main star, the hero); then there is the antagonist (the rival, adversary) It doesn’t matter the type of movie, or cartoon you watch. You will always find a protagonist and the antagonist. In most cases the protagonist or hero becomes a Savior. For instance. (Neo and the Metrix, the avengers, superman, batman, xmen, etc)
On September 11 2001 most of us got up and went about our business, school, jobs, etc. Our president had gone to a school to help promote reading when his meeting with the students got interrupted by a secret service agent who leaned over his shoulders and whispered “A plane just hit the world trade center.” That news rocked the world of many people. Our country hasn’t been the same ever since. Some information, messages or news tend to carry huge implications to our lives. They can really affect our lives. The visit to the Dr. as you wait the test results to find out you have a terminal disease. A shooting at the school where your kids attends. Sudden death of a love one in a car accident. These things are shocking, disturbing to your ears.
A young woman at a Bible study had the toughest time viewing God as a father. Her earthly father was abusive and was never in her life. She didn’t understand a father’s love because she didn’t receive love from her biological dad. I explained to her that God is the ultimate Father; that our earthly fathers would do well to emulate God. God is not like our earthly fathers but our earthly fathers should be more like God. There is a story in the Bible that illustrates to us the kind of Father God is.
It must have been awful for the apostles and disciples of Jesus when their leader was nailed to a cross. You know that time when things don’t go as you expected; when your hopes and dreams come to a halt. Jesus was the one they thought would restore the kingdom to Israel. This hope and dream was shattered on Friday by a wooden cross, but three days later, the unexpected happened…