Daily Devotion for July 19, 2016
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.
Prayer for the Day Ahead
Who can tell what a day might bring? Therefore, gracious God, cause me to live every day as if it were to be my last, for I cannot know not that it is not. Help me to live this day as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
Prayer of Thanks for This Life
O God in heaven, I was born a weak, defenseless child, but your angel spread his wings over my cradle to defend me. From birth until now your love has illumined my path and has wondrously guided me towards the light of eternity; from birth until now the generous gifts of your providence have been marvelously showered upon me. I give you thanks for every step of my life's journey, together with all who have come to know you, who call upon your name. All glory be to you, O God, from age to age,
Ancient Prayer: Jesus Wash My Feet
Jesus, my feet are dirty. Come even as a slave to me, pour water into your bowl, come and wash my feet. In asking such a thing I know I am overbold, but I dread what was threatened when you said to me, “If I do not wash your feet I have no fellowship with you.” Wash my feet then, because I long for your companionship.
And finally, may the grace of Christ our Savior, and the Father's boundless love, with the Holy Spirit's favor, rest upon me, and all of us, from above. Thus may we abide in union, with each other and the Lord, and possess, in sweet communion, joys which earth cannot afford.
Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.
Psalm 119:49-53 (Zayin) (NKJV)
Remember the word to Your servant,
Upon which You have caused me to hope.
This is my comfort in my affliction,
For Your word has given me life.
The proud have me in great derision,
Yet I do not turn aside from Your law.
I remembered Your judgments of old, O Lord,
And have comforted myself.
Matthew 10:23-25 (ESV)
A Disciple is Not Above His Teacher
“When they persecute you in one town, flee to the next, for truly, I say to you, you will not have gone through all the towns of Israel before the Son of Man comes.
A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign those of his household.”
Notes on the Scripture
he first phrase reiterates what Christ told the apostles earlier in verse 14: “And if anyone will not receive you or listen to your words, shake off the dust from your feet when you leave that house or town.” The apostles were not looking for trouble. The advice is to spread the Gospel where people are interested in it, but not to argue and not to seek martyrdom — for there will be trouble and persecution enough.
Christ gives yet another reason for it here, though. He doesn't want them to waste time on hopeless causes, but to make reasonable haste. His death, resurrection and ascension are closer at hand than the apostles know, and they will be converting people in Israel long after Jesus is gone.
The teaching “a disciple is not above his master” seems to say something that it does not. Perhaps it came across more clearly in Aramaic, when Christ said it, but the plain meaning of the sentence in English simply is not what Christ meant. It sounds as if Christ has changed to a new topic of great importance; but this is misleading.
He is not concerned that the apostles might begin to make themselves the head of a new religion or teach that they are greater than Christ, or anything else along those lines. He means that, if the master suffers, the servants must expect to suffer. Picture a mother or father being convicted of a terrible crime or, less balefully, leaving a high-paying job to follow a calling with much less income. “Why,” children will ask, “do I have to suffer just because daddy (or mom) is having a midlife crisis?”
And so with discipleship. The servant is not above the master, and we know that the master will suffer an agonizing crucifixion. Who are the disciples, to expect better treatment than the very Son of God?
The illustration (“if they have called the master of the house Beelzebul”) references one of the many accusations made in Chapter 9, that Jesus was able to cast out demons because he was in league with their boss, Satan. So all that the important-sounding “disciple is not above his teacher” is that the apostles should expect exactly the same problems, hostility, and accusations as Jesus himself had encountered. But, they should avoid persecution any greater than that of Christ.
They did manage to follow his advice; the first martyr, Stephen, was not stoned until after the crucifixion.