They will fall by the edge of the sword and be led captive among all nations,
and Jerusalem will be trampled underfoot by the Gentiles,
until the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled.
What do you think this means?
What happens next?
Jesus, aware of this, withdrew from there.
And many followed him,
and he healed them all
ordered them not to make him known.
This was to fulfill what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah:
“Behold, my servant whom I have chosen,
my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased.
I will put my Spirit upon him,
and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles.
He will not quarrel or cry aloud,
nor will anyone hear his voice in the streets;
a bruised reed he will not break,
and a smoldering wick he will not quench,
until he brings justice to victory;
and in his name the Gentiles will hope.”
“The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say,
‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’
Yet wisdom is justified by her deeds.”
Do you know any tax collectors and sinners? There's a party.
In all their affliction he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them; in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; he lifted them up and carried them all the days of old.
But just as He who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do,
for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:15
The "it is written" referenced here is found in many verses of
Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and probably elsewhere. Here's one:
Speak to all the congregation of the sons of Israel and say to them,
‘You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy. Leviticus 19:2
What is holiness?
From her vantage point the mountains below spread out forever. She had inherited this place of peace from an ancient scribe, Simcha the Jew, who painted and taught and read and wrote. He was a foreigner here, like her, though he had lived
in this simple wooden house his entire life.
"Why do they call you 'the Jew'?" She'd asked him once.
He was surprised, "They don't call me that. I call myself that. I say it all the time."
"Why?" She wondered.
He replied, "So they will know."
It was like Simcha to say something and leave it at that. He wanted to be known, understood, heard, but it was like he spoke another language. Some people hide their faith and others their background. They'll see us, you know, if we speak up.
Simcha knew they see us anyway. Better to be bold.
He was no ordinary man. Simcha knew God. He knew Jesus the Messiah. That made him a stranger to his own people, and stranger still to those who do not know God and reject the Son. He was alone on that mountain, or so he thought, until she came and asked him a million questions. You are just as strange as me, he thought, but never said aloud, because he did not want her to know.
And so she stood staring at the open sky, in the frame of the wooden door, high on a mountain, thinking of all she'd learned from Simcha the Jew. It was a lot.
Forgiveness. How had she learned that?
As far as she could tell Simcha never held a grudge. Maybe that's how.
Refuse offense. You could not offend Simcha.
He lived in peace because he chose to, not because the world is perfect.
He forgave and he blessed those the Almighty put within his reach, continually, each day, all the time, and when the sun relaxed into a peaceful sleep so did Simcha.
She was afraid of the whole world. "It's horrible," she said. He disagreed.
"Don't be afraid of them," he said.
"All of these problems are really one problem and they have one answer: Jesus."
It was like Simcha to say something and leave it at that.
Sometimes people misunderstood him and sometimes they did not.
She understood him and stood at the doorway looking out for someone to bless.