Mistakes of the Past
Free Food and Miracles
As it was then, so it is now. The dilemma of the disciples in Jesus’ day is really no different from ours today. As the disciples were concerned with maintaining their national identity and personal security, in a world bent on subduing them, we too struggle to maintain our identity and security in a world just as determined to subdue us. All too often, when our future is clouded in uncertainty, like the disciples of old, we’re also tempted to seek more from God than what He desires for us. We seek shortcuts to personal happiness at the expense of eternal happiness; we seek to exchange personal security in the present tense in exchange for the eternal security that God promises us if only we do things His way. Too often we fail to understand what the Scriptures reveal, even though they were written specifically for our benefit.
Thus, the same choice is presented to us, just as it was presented to those who stood in the presence of Jesus. But will we notice what others fail to notice? Will we learn from the mistakes of the past, or are we doomed to repeat those same mistakes?
Story Continues Below
To watch author and historian W. Kent Smith discuss the contents of his book On Earth as It is On Heaven, at the Sacred Word Revealed Conference 2023, hosted by Zen Garcia, CLICK BELOW.
Story Continues From Above
As long as Jesus was passing out free food and miracles, The Bible tells us the crowds were so thick about Him that as He traveled from city to city He could hardly make His way through the mass of people. But no sooner did He begin to explain the cost of following Him than the crowds slowly began to thin. The more Jesus spoke of taking up one’s cross, the less people clamored for His blessings. It’s not as though the Lord was no longer willing to impart His blessings; but as soon as people were challenged to be more than recipients of God’s blessings, they suddenly found themselves too busy to bother.
More than anyone else, then, Jesus understands the tendency of His creation to dismiss the demands of a life truly devoted to God, to dismiss what we as creatures of God must render to Him in this life. Like children, undisciplined, spoiled, and without understanding, we want the goodies without delivering the goods. So when Jesus taught the disciples to pray, “Our Father Who is in Heaven, holy is Your name. Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on Earth as it is in Heaven,” what do you think went through their minds? Did they understand the implications of these words as they pertained to God’s purpose for humanity? Or did they instead think of this prayer in terms of what they hoped God would do for them? Of course, I’d suggest they, just like the rest of us, tended to see how it spoke more to their desires than to God’s.
To repeat: As it was then, so it is now. Ask yourself: When we consider how we view this prayer when we pray it, what are we really hoping for? Are we hoping to become genuine instruments that God will use to manifest His heavenly Kingdom here on Earth? Or are we really hoping to be whisked away someday to be where the God of Heaven is? In short, do we assume what most people assume: The goal of the Christian has nothing to do with our earthly life down here and everything to do with our being deemed worthy to go to Heaven when we die? Ask a hundred Christians, and certainly ninety-nine of them would say it is.