February 16, 2019

Going Spiritual Or Going Political? (Epiphany 6 Year C)

Our sixth Epiphany moment is discovering that Jesus was promising life after death to those who trust in him. This is a new idea - especially for Christians who think they can earn their way into heaven by good behaviour, going to the right church or knowing the right doctrine. Isaiah describes those who trust in man as “cursed” as opposed to those who trust in God as “Blessed” (17.7). The Luke reading is Jesus’ deeper teaching on how things are different in the spiritual Kingdom of God where the poor are blessed and the rich may be condemned and excluded. The question is the priorities of our heart or soul.

1.  Jeremiah says “the heart is deceitful above all things” (17.9). 
Many people deceive themselves into thinking that because they live a good life that is enough. 
  • It is easy to do good things, appear good but not love 
  • If we do good things to gain the respect of others we are trusting in our own behaviour. 
  • Our heart may have turned away from God.
2. “Blessed are you who are poor” -  yours is the Kingdom 
God sees things differently. This is why we need these Epiphany moments when we see things as Jesus sees them. Jesus is giving an important teaching on who will be welcomed into the heavenly Kingdom. 
  • He has just demonstrated His kingly authority over both spiritual and natural forces of evil. 
  • The poor will be blessed as citizens of the spiritual Kingdom
  • “power was coming from Him and healing them all” 
  • Supernatural healing opens their eyes to who Jesus is - their King and the benefits of trusting in Him
3. Blessed are you who hunger - you will be filled
Trust in God or a heart turned toward God is like a hunger to be with God. It is this hunger that helps us overcome our distractions, particularly the distraction of trusting in ourselves. This hunger is what connects us to Jesus and makes us holy.
  • Supernatural healing opens our eyes to who Jesus is - our King and the benefits of trusting in Him.
  • “power was coming from Him and healing them all” 
  • Jesus restores their identity as precious children of God and gives them healing and hope
4. Blessed are you who weep now
Jesus is taking us deeper into or spiritual life. 
  • Our grief is a measure of our love. 
  • Grief over sins and failures to love God that have wounded the heart of Jesus connects us spiritually to Jesus - a sign that we trust in God and are going spiritual

 5. Persecuted Christians have the greatest reward and joy
The fact that they are being excluded and insulted because of their trust means they have pricked the conscience of those who do not trust in God and are going political.
  • Trusting in God is not always easy
  • Cost is giving up popularity, wealth, power and comfort
  • Resisting these temptations is the greatest test of going spiritual
Our Epiphany moment comes when we see our suffering and persecution is a sign that we are going spiritual and have found our identity as holy child of god - and citizen of Heaven - and rejoice!

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