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The Ones at the Table

Daily Reading: Matthew 8


Scripture Focus: I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. Matthew 8:11-12


Devotional Thought: The centurion, a high-ranking official in the Roman army, was a "Gentile of Gentiles," representing the intrusive Roman power that the Israelites hoped to crush with the coming of their Messiah.


What must the Jewish people have thought about Jesus, when he not only healed the centurion’s servant, but then marveled at his faith? “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith. I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth” (vv. 10-12). Jesus’ words of commendation to this Gentile would have been heresy to the religious Jews. This Roman oppressor eating with the father of the Jewish faith, while the Israelite blood descendants are thrown into outer darkness? It becomes clear why the religious leaders sought opportunity to kill Jesus.


Are we as exclusive with our faith as the Jews were then? Do we reserve the good news of the gospel for those who we feel are worthy to partake in it? Or, do we offer it to the same ones Jesus offered it to – the hopeless, downcast, outcast, unrighteous sinners? Jesus says in just the next chapter of Matthew, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick… I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Look around you for the sick and unworthy – for they are the ones to whom Jesus calls.


Jenny


Prayer: Lord, give us eyes to see the hearts in which your Spirit is working. Give us courage and boldness to proclaim your praises and your redemption. Help us to swallow our pride and recognize that we were all children of darkness before your saving grace redeemed us. Amen.


Psalm of the Day: Psalm 89.14-18

14 Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne;

steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.

15 Blessed are the people who know the festal shout,

who walk, O Lord, in the light of your face,

16 who exult in your name all the day

and in your righteousness are exalted.

17 For you are the glory of their strength;

by your favor our horn is exalted.

18 For our shield belongs to the Lord,

our king to the Holy One of Israel.

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