In Our Generation
Gracious Father, my hope is in You, my God, my help, and my strength.
Consider: "What is the point Jesus is making here? Reformation needs to be long-lasting to be genuine" (N.T. Wright). It is easy to start strongly, but more difficult to finish well!
Instead of creeping away in disgrace to examine their own lives and ask, "Could we possibly be in league with Satan?" the Pharisees blindly pursue their preconceived plan of attack. There is no repentance. Indeed, they perfectly illustrate Jesus' point, that attributing the work of God's Spirit to Satan is the unforgivable sin. They are supreme examples of the "wicked and adulterous generation," which "asks for a sign" (39). The rabbis thought that signs from God should be abnormal physical actions such as water flowing backwards. Jesus' earthly signs include actions like feeding the 5,000 (Matt. 14:13-21)--and they are all in answer to human need. Jesus is not a circus performer. The evidence of his signs is incontrovertible, but unlike the Ninevites or the Queen of Sheba "this generation" (41,42,45) does not respond.
Jesus' condemnation extends beyond the Pharisees, to all his hearers. The signs are for all to see. It is impossible to remain neutral about him. If people do not allow his Spirit to reside in their "house," then evil will take up occupancy (43-45). Having rejected Jesus, this generation is in a worse situation. Note, however, that there are some who respond to him. Note, too, that Jesus is not so much rejecting his own earthly family here as extending it to all who do the will of the Father.
Do you wish you had known him on earth? Jesus says that whoever does his will is his brother or sister. We belong to the inner circle of the beloved. What a privilege! God, by his Spirit, has called us out of what seems today to be "a wicked and adulterous generation" to heed his words, to value their wisdom and to radically change our ways and do the will of our Father.
Is God speaking to you about something you do not want to hear? Are you doing the Father's will? Should you repent? Confess to him and receive his forgiveness.
Lord Jesus, I am following You as my Lord and Savior but I acknowledge it is sometimes fits and starts. Keep me moving forward in the lifelong adventure of being Your disciple.
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