- The multiple, mixed metaphors in this passage are amazing. There is a sobering and humbling effect here. If I could step back from the specifics I would see a plea to hang on. Hang on for the sake of your family, your church. (vs. 19-25) Hang on for the honor of Jesus who loved us with his very life (and death). (vs. 26-31) Hang on to validate the sacrifices we’ve made and gladly see them through until their fruit is revealed. (vs. 32-36) Verse 39 then gives a peculiar encouragement, a promise that after our strenuous efforts, we will hang on!
- This reminds me of Peter’s betrayal (John 18), Jesus’ hard testing of Peter to serve the Church (John 21:15-17), and then Jesus’ promise that Peter would victoriously endure, through intense trials, to the very end. (John 21:18-19). Perhaps, since faith is the arena where we interact with Jesus and the Church, we live with both the confidence of the promises of Jesus and the uncertainties of our rights & access to those promises. So, we live by doing both. We celebrate the promises offered and we dig in, work hard, and endure in order to prove to ourselves that our faith is real. Still, thoughthe storms of life will shake us at times, Jesus is not weak. He will complete what He began in us! (Philippians 1:6, 12-13)
Jesus, thank you for the assurance you’ve provided by setting the bar so high and then rising to fulfill the requirements. Holy Spirit, as the ebb and flow of my life knocks me off course, haunt me until I am perfectly on the path that heads to Jesus.
Categories: Words of Life