Daily Devotion for May 12, 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
Oh God the King eternal, who divides the day from the darkness, and has turned the shadow of death into the light of morning; I pray that this day you will incline my heart to keep your commandments, driving temptation from my mind. Guide my feet into the way of peace; that having done your will with cheerfulness while it was day, I may, when the night comes, rejoice in giving you thanks for a day lived in your presence; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer for Those Who Have Turned Away
Grant, O Lord, peace, love and speedy reconciliation to your people whom You have redeemed with your precious blood. Make your presence known to those who have turned away from You and do not seek You, so that none of them may be lost, but all may be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth, so that everyone, in true love and harmony, O long-suffering Lord, may praise your all holy Name.
May the Passion of Christ be ever in my heart. May your law and your goodness guide my every thought, O Lord. And may the power of your Holy Spirit flow through my words and my actions.
Walk with me, so that I may not be alone as I face this day, but always in your presence. Your joy is a lighthouse in a world often dark with sin, and I pray that I may inspire others as I have been inspired. In the name of Christ, bless me this day, and all whom I may meet.
(Additional prayers may be found at Prayers for All Occasions.)
God be with you 'til we meet again.
But a foolish son is the grief of his mother.
Acts 3:17-26 (NKJV)
Peter Speaks in Solomon’s Portico 
“Yet now, brethren, I know that you did it in ignorance, as did also your rulers. But those things which God foretold by the mouth of all His prophets, that the Christ would suffer, He has thus fulfilled.
Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, whom heaven must receive until the times of restoration of all things, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.
For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you. And it shall be that every soul who will not hear that Prophet shall be utterly destroyed from among the people.’ Yes, and all the prophets, from Samuel and those who follow, as many as have spoken, have also foretold these days.
You are sons of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying to Abraham, ‘And in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.’ To you first, God, having raised up His Servant Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from your iniquities.”
Notes on the Scripture
All of the four gospels recount miracles. In John, as we have just seen, these are given special significance. John calls seven of the miracles “signs”. A sign is something we can understand, but it has a special significance to the first group of converts, who were Jews in Jerusalem.
The prophecy of Moses which is referenced in today's Scripture is the first prophecy of Christ's coming and one of the most strongly worded. In Deuteronomy 18:15-22, set right in the middle of the mass of laws given by Moses, is a law concerning the Messiah. Moses states that this law has been given to him by God.
Moses predicts the coming of a great prophet, who will be Jewish. God commands the Hebrews to follow the prophet, because he will speak the word of God. But if he does not speak the word of God, he shall die. But how, one might wonder, could a confused Jew tell whether the prophet is true — speaks the word of God — or is false and speaking the words of other gods, or his own words?
The answer is, that “when a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord, if the word does not come to pass or come true, that is a word that the Lord has not spoken.” The Messiah (as this great prophet comes to be called) will make accurate predictions. Thus, the significance of Jesus' “signs” is that they prove Moses' prophecy.
Jesus did not perform miracles simply to wow the crowds; he was not a magician putting on a show. Most of his miracles were performed before Jews, many or most of whom would have known their Moses like a preacher knows his Bible. More so, in fact, because the words of Moses were the law by which they were expected to lead their daily lives.
When Jesus spoke, he put his listeners in a bind. Much of what he said was different from the Jewish Bible, and much of it seemed directly contradictory. This confounded the listeners; if Jesus was speaking the word of God, they should listen and follow, but if not, they should ignore him and possiby put him to death.
So Jesus' miracles, especially those miracles called “signs” by John, had special significance. When Jesus said something, it came true. Even more remarkably, when Jesus said something physically impossible, it came true. Because of this, the Jews were able to believe and follow him, because even Moses, the giver of God's law, had told them to follow Him.