Daily D – John 7:3-5
So his brothers said to him, “Leave here and go to Judea so that your disciples can see your works that you are doing. For no one does anything in secret while he’s seeking public recognition. If you do these things, show yourself to the world.” (For not even his brothers believed in him.)
JOHN 7:3-5 (CSB)
Snapshots record moments in time. If the parenthetical phrase above turned out to be the final word, it would have been a tragedy. How could anyone grow up with Jesus and not be impressed? Such is the reality of family ties. Sometimes they bind in all the wrong ways.
Fast forward beyond the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus to Acts 1. Jesus ascends into heaven (verses 9-11). Returning to the upper room where the next big event was going to take place, we find a list of who was there. There were the eleven apostles (Judas had taken his own life), the women Luke had mentioned in his Gospel (Luke 8:1-3; 24:10), and “Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers,” (Acts 1:14).
Crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension often affect people like that. When they see Jesus for who he really is, everything changes.
Fast forward again to those last books of the New Testament after Hebrews and before Revelation. Immediately in front of Peter’s two books is James. Immediately in front of Revelation is Jude. These were Jesus’ brothers, the ones of whom it was written, “For not even his brothers believed in him.”
Snapshots capture moments in time. They do not tell, indeed they cannot tell, the whole story of a life, a family, or a movement. Your photo album takes you back, doesn’t it? Sometimes we smile. Sometimes we laugh. Sometimes we sigh.
Among our photographs and memories dwell the best intentions of days long past. How has that worked out so far? What are our best next steps?
Staying in step with Jesus often takes us out of cadence with others, even those we love most dearly. It often appears they are marching to a different drummer or a pied piper.
Walking God’s path in God’s timing often leads us in different directions from the great expectations of others. Keep walking with God. One of the most wonderful benefits of walking with him over the course of a lifetime is arriving at the same place as those who appeared to walk away from God earlier in the journey.
If someone you dearly love has walked away from God’s path, know that the one who loves having you with him along the way will continually seek that lost sheep and do everything necessary on his part to bring that lost sheep safely home (Luke 15:1-7). There is rejoicing in heaven when this happens. God our Father is happier than we are.
The next parable in Luke 15 is about a lost coin (verses 8-10). Then there is one of the most enduring and beloved stories ever told, the parable of the lost son (verses 11-32).
Our Father loves lost sheep, lost coins, lost boys. Our Father searches with the intensity of the Good Shepherd, the tenacity of a woman who has misplaced one-tenth of her life savings, and the all-consuming love of a father whose son has gone into the far country and forgotten all about the kind of love that makes life worth living.
Keep walking with God in his way and in his timing. You will arrive precisely where you need to be when you need to be there. Joyfully, you may well discover that those who wandered off have been rounded up, returned, rescued. This is what our Father in heaven wants for all who stray, for all who are lost, for all who go their own way.
I will walk with Jesus along his path in his timing and join him in seeking and saving those who stray or go their own way.
Our Father, one thing I know for sure: You love those I love more than I am capable of loving. What you want for them is far greater even that what I want. Your love is reaching without end and without fail. You are a good, good Father. Please reach and return our lost loved ones. Amen.
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