Daily Devotion for March 1, 2011
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
I call upon you, O Lord. In the morning you hear me; in the morning I offer you my prayer, watching and waiting.
I lift my heart to you, O Lord, to be strengthened for this day. Be with me in all I do, my God; guide me in all my ways.
I will carry some burdens today; some trials will be mine. So I wait for your help, Lord, lest I stumble and fall.
I will do my work, Father, the work begun by your Son. He lives in me and I in him; may his work today be done.
For the Human Family
O God, you made us in your own image and redeemed us through Jesus your Son: Look with compassion on the whole human family; take away the arrogance and hatred which infect our hearts; break down the walls that separate us; unite us in bonds of love; and work through our struggle and confusion to accomplish your purposes on earth; that, in your good time, all nations and races may serve you in harmony around your heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Eternal God, heavenly Father, you have graciously accepted me as a living member of your Son our Savior Jesus Christ, and you have blessed me with the grace of forgiveness through the sacrifice He made for me and for all people. Send me now into the world in peace, and grant me strength and courage to love and serve you with gladness and singleness of heart; through Christ our Lord.
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.
because the Lord disciplines those he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his child.
Arguments over Jesus' Divinity
When they heard these words, some of the people said, "This really is the Prophet." Others said, "This is the Christ." But some said, "Is the Christ to come from Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the offspring of David, and comes from Bethlehem, the village where David was?"
So there was a division among the people over him. Some of them wanted to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him.
The officers then came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, "Why did you not bring him?" The officers answered, "No one ever spoke like this man!"
The Pharisees answered them, "Have you also been deceived? Have any of the authorities or the Pharisees believed in him? But this crowd that does not know the law is accursed."
Nicodemus, who had gone to him before, and who was one of them, said to them, "Does our law judge a man without first giving him a hearing and learning what he does?" They replied, "Are you from Galilee too? Search and see that no prophet arises from Galilee."
Then they each went to their own home.
Notes on the Scripture
This historical passage is easily read. The Pharisees have solidified their position and have decided that Jesus must be stopped. But the guards they send to arrest him are stopped from completing their mission by Jesus' words; it is a testament to Christ's power and charisma, that the very soldiers sent to arrest him instead become tempted to convert to his way!
Once again, we see how important it is to the Jews that the Messiah comply with the prophesies. They took their Bible very seriously. But they are mistaken in their facts: they believe Jesus is from Galilee, a man of unknown heritage, while in truth Jesus is a direct descendant of David and was born in Bethlehem, as predicted. The reader can now understand the importance of the accounts of Jesus birth, and the long genealogy that begins the Gospel of Matthew, in converting the Jews.
This also speaks to why Christ's time had "not yet come". If he had been arrested on the grounds stated here, the authorities might have been forced to free him when they discovered the facts about his birth. By the time he is actually arrested, however, the arrogant Pharisees will have grown to hate him, and to fear the threat he poses to their position and authority, that the prophesy will not matter.