Jesus left Galilee for the final time to begin His fateful journey to Jerusalem, where He met His death. En route He worked but one more miracle, focusing rather on teaching those around Him. He increasingly stressed the nature of discipleship, but as He entered the city, He underlined the theme of impending judgment for Israel.
Jesus was literally “on the road,” journeying from Judea. Verses 1 through 20 describe three encounters with people who accosted Him with various kinds of questions or demands.
First, the Pharisees tried to stop Him by asking Him His views on divorce. In His reply, Jesus went beyond both competing schools of Pharisaic thought – the Hillelites who granted divorce “for any good cause,” and the Shammaites, who limited it to adultery. Instead, He stressed the permanence of marriage as God’s original design. He did agree with Shammai in permitting divorce and remarriage when adultery has already ruptured a union. But unlike Shammai, He did not require it. And very much out of keeping with conventional Jewish sympathies, He pointed out God’s call to some to lead a single, celibate lifestyle.
Second, He dealt with His disciples’ impatience at certain individuals who asked Him to bless their children. As in chapter 18, verses 1 through 5, He used this opportunity to teach about childlike dependence on God.
Third, He responded to the rich young man’s question about how to receive eternal life. His call to this man demanded that he sell his possessions, give to the poor, and follow Him in discipleship. He called other people to deal with their money differently, but whenever something became an obstacle to doing God’s will, it must be jettisoned. This third encounter led Peter, on behalf of the Twelve, to ask what reward they would receive inasmuch as they had left families and possessions behind in their itinerant ministries. Jesus’ answer points to their eternal reward but also hints at manifold compensation in this life, presupposing that fellow disciples share their possessions and function as a large, extended family.
Credits: Concise Bible Commentary, David S. Dockery, General Editor and Holy Bible, King James Version.
Columbia Prayer Chain
Tuesday, September 27
In our prayers: Jerry Callahan, Russ Meyne, April Goodwin, Laura Bushnell, Loretta M. in Cayce, Kody Oswald, Tina Bailey, Oliver Crawford, Edgar Maxwell, Laura Lou Roamans, Elizabeth Adams, Rootie Pope in Leesville, Gene Awtrey in Spring Valley, John Conde, Millie Husbands, Clyde Ireland, Sam King, Bob Whiteside, Chuck Witten, Lindsay Cathcart, Raven Tarpley, Elizabeth F., Steven and Janelle, William Alex McDaniels, Maddie Rosenthal, DuBose Tuller, Nancy, Doris C., Lynn in Camden, John in Forest Acres, Frances R., Chris Johansson in Blythewood, Nancy in West Columbia, Elaine and Michael, Earnest
In memoriam: Maggie L. Lloyd, Louise Beaty Cochrane, Elizabeth Barron Lamb, Leonard E. “Smiley” Whelchel, Trudy Parker, William Glenn Ford, Jr., Allen Jones Jr., Jean Gray, Laurence Ward Kyser
Our prayers are with: Mandy and all beloved pets, our president and congress and all who serve in the armed forces
Columbia Prayer Chain is open to all residents of greater Columbia who would like to share prayers and receive the prayers of others. Please leave your name in the comment box below or email me to join our Prayer Chain. It is updated daily as prayers are requested.
Sharon is a member of the Community Church of the Midlands that meets at Seven Oaks Community Center at 200 Leisure Lane in Columbia and is a frequent participant, with her husband Douglas, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral located in Columbia.
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