This week we will see two parallel themes. First, rejection of both Christ and of John the Baptist; then expansion – of Christ’s ministry by delegating his authority to his disciples.
We understand that you have called us to lives of ministry, lives of service, here in this world. Though our gifts may differ, our responsibility is much the same. We need to live completely for you.
We also understand that we will continue to learn as we serve. You do not require our training to be complete before you use us, but rather we expect you to train us as we begin to be used.
At the same time we need to count the cost.
Jesus was rejected repeatedly in his hometown of Nazareth. People knew him, but allowed their familiarity to get in the way of seeing who he really was.
John the Baptist angered selfish rulers who engaged in immoral behavior. It eventually cost him his life. We can expect the same kind of rejection as we seek to serve you.
Your Son reminded us that sometimes the best we can expect out of this world is trouble.
His disciples often faced difficulty, opposition and persecution and they endured. Give us that same kind of strength.
From Christ’s instruction we learn that our worst enemies and betrayers might be those we would expect to be our closest friends. Those who should love us and those we love may respond with hatred and rejection. We thank you that Jesus experienced all of this first. We are certainly no greater than he is.
Help us, Father, to remain steadfast, to be faithful and to endure. We may desire happiness, comfort, approval and blessings, but they may not be ours at this time. Just as Jesus endured to the end and was glorified, help us to stand firm knowing that his story did not end at the cross and neither will ours.
If we experience no glory or honor in this world, may our lives still bring glory to him, for Christ is worthy.