February 23: another way (Numbers 12-13; Psalm 90; Mark 2)

As I’m reading, I am thinking about how different God’s way is. To accept God’s way is not an easier way. The land before them was flowing with milk and honey. God’s promise was real. The first scouts were able to taste it. After months in the desert, it must have been incredible. But getting there would involve challenge and most looked within themselves and decided the challenges and risks were too great for them. The more they looked within the larger the obstacles became until they could no longer see God’s promise.

Then in reading Mark 2, Jesus’ way is a very different way. Different attitudes and behaviors get noticed especially when such attitudes and behaviors rub against conventional religious practices. But Jesus’ answer to criticism goes to the heart of the Christian way. Jesus is being obedient to a calling. Jesus’ whole ministry is to bring health not just to the physically sick but to Israel as a whole and the world as a whole. However, this is not an easier way. A lot of people will get upset. There are great challenge and risks that will require sacrifice and hardship. That’s also true for Jesus’ followers, even today. Can you see the promised land – that is, God’s vision of reality? What are the obstacles within me that keep me from seeing what God sees?

Jesus’ actions and words ring out like a loud alarm in today’s world telling us what time it is (time for the doctor to see the patients), warning us to look at things from God’s point of view (our perspectives often block God’s view), encouraging us to extend his healing and transforming power wherever and whenever it is needed.

May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us – yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17)

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