The Weekend Word
As you study the Bible one of the things that is very evident is that God planned to set things right in a fallen world through people He called out of the world and set apart for Himself.
He called Israel out of Egypt and gave them the Law, circumcision, and the sacrificial system to set them apart…these were marks that affirmed and confirmed their identity apart from all other people.
In Jesus He fulfilled all that He intended to do through Israel, creating a new people for Himself with a new covenant in Christ.
What are identifying markers of this new people?
How were people to recognize the followers of Jesus?
“And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up. And as was his custom, he went to the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and he stood up to read. Luke 4:17 And the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was given to him. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”” (Luke 4:16–19 ESV)
That was the King’s manifesto and all those who were to follow him were to be part of fulfilling that mission.
He taught mercy, then followed His preaching with merciful acts.
He taught grace and gave it.
He taught love and lived it, sacrificially and completely.
Then He said, “follow me”.
Mercy, grace, and love were to be the identity badges of those set apart people who claimed to follow Jesus.
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”” (John 13:34–35 ESV)
I would submit that these were to be our identity markers and our “constitution” was the Sermon On the Mount.
Today our identity is found in nationalism, political parties, and new forms of the law.
Those were exactly the things that kept Israel from recognizing their Messiah.
“And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. He said, “In a certain city there was a judge who neither feared God nor respected man. And there was a widow in that city who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Give me justice against my adversary.’ For a while he refused, but afterward he said to himself, ‘Though I neither fear God nor respect man, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will give her justice, so that she will not beat me down by her continual coming.’” And the Lord said, “Hear what the unrighteous judge says. And will not God give justice to his elect, who cry to him day and night? Will he delay long over them? I tell you, he will give justice to them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on earth?”” (Luke 18:1–8 ESV)
Make your own application…