In our readings this week we begin to encounter people who reject Jesus and oppose His teaching. Some of us meet up with people of a similar disposition in our lives today. Rather than running away from them or just ignoring them, pray for them.

You might like to make this your prayer for the week.

 

Lord, help me to live today quietly, easily.

Help me to lean upon your great strength trustfully, restfully.

To wait for the unfolding of your will patiently, serenely;

To meet others peacefully, joyously;

To face tomorrow confidently, courageously. AMEN.

 

A prayer of St Francis of Assisi

Read John 5:1-18

v 18 So the Jewish leaders tried all the harder to find a way to kill him. For he not only broke the Sabbath, he called God his Father, thereby making himself equal with God.

It was love that caused Jesus to heal this man, but what a reaction it provoked! It did not fit the expectations of the Jewish leaders, so the scheming to get rid of Jesus begins. If ever love was misunderstood here is a prize example. As far as they were concerned, keeping the law about Sabbath observance was more important than doing good. And as for Jesus implicitly claiming to be the Son of God (v 17), that was sheer blasphemy. The love and truth exhibited by Jesus were both opposed because neither fitted into the views of life and religion held by the Jewish leaders. Jesus was therefore perceived as a threat to their status, and He had to be got rid of.

This is surely one of the hardest things to handle – love misunderstood and maligned.

The well-known passage in 1 Corinthians 13 states the positive things about love. Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.‘ All this was evident in the love of Jesus, and yet the Jewish hierarchy saw only a threat to their authority.

Have you ever experienced love misunderstood – when someone has attributed selfish motives to your attempts to express love in helping? It does happen, and it needs a good dose of grace to handle it wisely.

Monday 20th September Daily Notes from The Hub