Daily Devotion for October 22, 2009
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 Morning
Oh Lord, most heavenly Father, Almighty and everlasting God, who has safely brought me to the beginning of this day; I give you thanks for my creation, preservation, and all the blessings of my life. Grant that this day I fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger; but that all my doings, being governed by your will, may be righteous in your sight. Through Christ our Lord, I pray.
Prayer for Grace and Strength
Lord God, I pray that you will fill my heart with the blessing of your Holy Spirit. Grant me this day the strength to be temperate in all things, diligent in my duties, and patient under my afflictions. Direct me in all my ways. Give me grace to be just and upright in all my dealings; quiet and peaceable; full of compassion; and ready to do good to all people, according to my abilities and opportunities. For the sake of my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ,
Community of Prayer
Heavenly Lord, I know I am not alone saying these prayers or reading your Word this morning, but many people unknown to me, from all stations of life, have joined together in this brief moment of devotion. May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be among the community of all who pray in the name of Christ this morning, and remain among us always.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
Gospel of Matthew 13:53-58
A Prophet Without Honor in His Own Land
When Jesus had finished the parables, he left those lands. And coming into his own country [Galilee] he taught them in their synagogue.
The residents were astonished by this, and said, "Where has this man come from, and this wisdom, and these mighty works? Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't Mary his mother? And his brothers James, and Joseph, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, do they not all live here with us? How, then, does this man have all these things? And they were offended by him.
But Jesus said to them, "A prophet is not without honor, save in his own land, and in his own house." And he did not perform many great works there, because of their unbelief.
Comment on the Scripture
Jesus finally returns to his homeland, almost surely to Nazareth proper. Most Hebrews, living in a world where the truth of Mosaic law was accepted as an integral part of life, had difficulty hearing Christ's teachings. But the people of Nazareth have an additional barrier. They know him and his family, and they see him as a carpenter.
To say the people were "offended" by him does not catch the subtlety of the Greek. The listeners "stumbled" over his words, that is, they had difficulty focusing on his message because they could not overcome their fixed concept of his person. Both the Greek and the concept of this phrase lend themselves to the idea that Christ's identity was a "stumbling block" to the Nazarene's acceptance of his divinity and teaching.
Isn't this just like a small town anywhere? It doesn't matter how right you are, people would rather believe a lie told by a big shot than the truth told by a "little guy". God himself can come as a carpenter -- a blue collar worker -- and people won't listen to him. You have to think that maybe he was trying to tell us something about keeping our minds open.