What do you want me to do for you ?

30 01 2011

DAY THIRTY : Job 15 v. 1 – 18 v. 21; Matthew 20 v. 20 – 34; Psalm 17 v. 13 – 15

JOB – Round two of speeches from Job’s ‘friends’ kicks off with Eliphaz scorning the wisdom which is appearing in Job’s words, and he turns up the heat of his attack. He can’t believe that Job would argue with God and question his friends’ advice, suggesting that further punishment would be expected if Job doesn’t repent. In summary, Eliphaz says effectively, “Who do you think you are, to argue with God, and to reject our advice….?”

Job responds to his ‘miserable comforters’ by going through all he feels God has done against him, but believing that God will hear him out, and establish greater wisdom and faith:
“Upright men are appalled at this (Job’s suffering and deterioration),
 nevertheless, the righteous will hold to their ways,
 and those with clean hands will grow stronger.”

Then more of the same from Bildad, reminding Job of the terrible fate to befall those who are wicked and evil – inappropriate, and little comfort to Job, who we were told in ch. 1 ‘was blameless and upright, fearing God and shunning evil’, and whom God trusted to endure great suffering. His friends are just missing the point.

MATTHEW
Mum puts in a good word….
Don’t we love the human touch in these encounters? A mum desiring the very best positions of honour for her sons. Quite what her view of the kingdom is, we can’t know, but she wants James and John to be Jesus’s right and left hand men. There is a cup of suffering they will all endure (not to the same depth as Jesus, Himself), but Jesus reminds them that the Father is in charge of such things (appointing people to their place in the kingdom), prepared in advance.

When the other disciples catch wind of this request, there are rumblings in the camp ! Jesus is unhappy with this jostling for supremacy, bickering over who goes first, that He reminds them of the topsy-turvy nature of His kingdom –
“Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”

Then Jesus shows a little more of what He is here to do, by healing the two blind men at the roadside. The simplicity of the question and answer, and Jesus’s ‘compassion’ for them (‘compassion’ is a strong word, implying a gut-wrenching pang which produces merciful and miraculous action from Jesus and his disciples), make this encounter such a beautiful one. The two men get their sight and follow Jesus. And we are left with Jesus’s question today,
“What do you want me to do for you?”

PSALMthough the suffering and opposition at times is very hard, “I – in righteousness shall see Your face; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with seeing Your likeness.”

This is our God, the Servant-King
He calls us now to follow Him
To bring our lives as a daily offering
Of worship to the Servant King.

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