21 February 2015
Reading: Luke 7; Psalm 44
29 When they heard this, all the people—even the tax collectors—agreed that God’s plan was right, for they had been baptized by John. 30 But the Pharisees and experts in religious law rejected God’s plan for them, for they had refused John’s baptism. (Luke 7:29-30 NLT)
God’s plan was to send his prophet, John The Baptist, to prepare the way for his Son Jesus, the Messiah. Those who believed God’s message through John—those who repented and were baptized by him—accepted God’s plan for their lives. Those who rejected John and his message also rejected Jesus, and in rejecting him also rejected God’s plan for their lives and their salvation.
John didn’t fit the “prophet profile” they had built up. John’s message didn’t align with the politics, the economy, or the religious system that had grown up around Judaism. John was an outsider to the system and a threat to the status quo. Jesus, like John, was an outsider to the system. Jesus, like John, was more concerned with people’s hearts than with religious, economic, and political systems.
The Jewish religious and political leaders rejected God’s Plan because:
• It wasn’t what they expected.
• It threatened their carefully balanced relationship with Roman rule.
• It didn’t line up with their politics.
• It threatened the positions and roles of the established leaders.
• It challenged their materialistic values and ways.
• It required heart change.
God’s plan for me may be just as challenging and unsettling. If I reject what God says to me because it isn’t what I expected, or because it costs more than I’m prepared to pay, or because it requires heart change, I could miss God’s plan for me. I don’t want to miss it. Do you?
Father, Thanks for being patient with me. I really don’t want to miss your plan for me. Help me respond in simple faith. Help me to accept the unexpected, be willing to pay the higher price, and keep on learning and changing. I know your plan is the best plan for me, the best plan for my life. Amen.