Roses And Thorns
In the verses just before today’s passage, Jesus has been up on a mountain praying all night. When the sun comes up he calls together twelve of his followers and makes them disciples. Then he comes down to a level place and starts to teach. He hasn’t even had breakfast yet and people are gathering from all over the place to come hear him.
They are coming from as far away as Jerusalem in the south and Tyre and Sidon on the Mediterranean coast – several days worth of walking have brought Jews and Gentiles alike to listen to Jesus teach.
Those gathered looked forward in hope to the time when God would renew the level places and reveal God’s glory and salvation in them. Jesus stands with us in our broken level world and teaches the ways of this renewal through the Kingdom of God. At first, it sounds like the very things that bring us woe – riches, good food, and prestige – are the same things that bring us blessings when they are scarce. But this week we look deeper at these blessings and woes.