Sunday, 12 January 2014

We all do this but.......

I've read a couple of things from the bible in the last 24 hours that have made me think "Oh, never saw that before".

2 Corinthians 2
Now when I went to Troas to preach the gospel of Christ and found that the Lord had opened a door for me, I still had no peace of mind, because I did not find my brother Titus there. So I said goodbye to them and went on to Macedonia.

It seems slightly amazing that the great Paul should go somewhere but feel off-colour because the friend he was hoping to see wasn't there, and so, even though he was being effective, he decided to move on until he found him. 

Luke 19 
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, ‘Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.’
Jesus said to him, ‘Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham. For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.’

Living in an age of super-abundance, wealth and property, where those who have so much feel such an intense reluctance to release their tax dollars because they are THEIRS, this aspect of giving half my possessions to the poor really struck me. It's such a contrast to those who were wealthy then and now. I recall yesterday an online friend in the US pointing out to a British socialist who is another online friend about how the communists of California want to take away their freedoms (principally guns) and their money - the whole emphasis was me and mine, and it's an ethos I've seen over and over again from some Christians I've known in the US. 

So salvation for Zaccheus was to release the things he'd held dear in exchange for faith in Jesus, and the response was to give away half the stuff he couldn't keep. It's preaching to me too: I have way more stuff than I need and lots of people have barely what they need to live.

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