Written on 23/1/11
Exodus 6-8, Luke 23
SOAP model - Scripture, Observation, Application, Prayer
S: Luke 23:28,31 But Jesus, turning to them, said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and your children... For if they do these things in a green wood, what will be done in the dry?"
O: The situation is Jesus being led to the crucifixion. The Jewish leaders had rejected the Messiah, so terrible things will befall Jerusalem in the future -- the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70. This is the traditional understanding of this passage, but since WW2, Christians have shied away from this interpretation for fear of being accused of antisemitism. However, it's not necessarily antisemitic -- after all, all the "good guys" in the story are Jews, too. All the early Christian apologists took this interpretation, and yes, in the middle ages people did take this to an antisemitic extreme, but we can return to a balanced historical understanding and not throw out the baby with the bathwater.
A: We mustn't reject the direction of God when the opportunity comes, like the Jewish leaders who in their selfish rejection of Jesus as the Messiah in order to preserve their own power brought upon themselves the destruction of Jerusalem. Though, if we mess up, repentance and forgiveness is still possible. Very soon after this passage, Jesus prays, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" and one of the two thieves on the crosses next to him repented and was saved. When I get an opportunity to obey or reject God's direction, I must choose to obey. My biggest daily struggle is my innate selfishness often asserts itself during those spur-of-the-moment decisions. Those decisions I have time to think about and consider and pray, I tend to make the right decision, but those split-second decisions, I often choose the selfish thing to do instead of God's way.
P: Lord, I know I often choose the selfish thing instead of the godly thing in those split-second decisions. Mold me so that I will react in the godly way instead of the selfish way. Please remind me in those split-second decisions to follow You instead of my own selfish heart.