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People need hope more than ever. As followers of Jesus, we have this promise in Colossians 1:27.....Listen to Radio Podcast featured on Moody Radio April 17 2024 

Mark 022 - Beyond What We See

Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom fast while he is with them? They cannot, so long as they have him with them. But the time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them, and on that day they will fast.

Mark 2:19,20

I like weddings – for the most part. Weddings are happy, even joyful events when we get together to celebrate a good thing. Friends, acquaintances, and family members have been invited ahead of time to the great and glorious event of a wedding.

With all the weddings I’ve attended or performed, I’ve never seen anyone at a wedding dressed like they are going to a funeral. They are always dressed to celebrate. In their celebrating, they choose what they wear. I’ve seen people in tuxedo’s, bib overalls, and everything in between, and it’s always been to celebrate.

When asked about fasting, Jesus chooses to highlight what’s not seen over what’s seen. What’s beneath the surface over what’s on top. Jesus is all about God’s reality over ritual, ceremony, and what’s considered normal from a human and physical perspective. Over and over, Jesus talks and acts like there is something more, something greater than what we see and touch.

Jesus lived by faith, which means he viewed life from God’s viewpoint: an eternal, unseen perspective. The ultimate reality of what we don’t see with our eyes is overruled the hear-and-now reality of what we do see.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

Hebrews 11:1

Jesus spoke, acted, and lived based on what he knew to be true, even though he couldn’t see it with his physical eyes. This is the life of faith. This is the life that pleases God. This is the life where we can fulfill our purpose.

I don’t know about you, but I’ve made so many decisions and choices based on what I saw, what I could touch, what I thought was true. The number of and depth of problems I caused, the pain I inflicted in my own life, the life of those I love, and even perfect strangers, are too many to tell. The list is just too long

Living life only on what we can see is another way of trying to live life based on what we can control. Or, should I say, what we think we can control. We think that if we have enough information that we can figure it out Figure everything out.

We are frightfully busy running around, looking for the right lever to pull, the right button to push, the right hurdle to jump over, the right wall to knock down in order to have a full, successful life. But I’ve come to realize that this is nothing more than our personal “religion.” A faith where we worship at the altar to myself; my information, my skills, my intellect, my abilities.

No matter how hard we try to live our lives based on ourselves, deep down in our heart of hearts we’ve invented our own religion. We’ve been at the same temple, offering the same sacrifices, at the same altar of self-sufficiency, self-importance.

There was a time in my life when I had done everything “right”. I followed all of the “religious rules”, I performed all of the right traditions, said the right words, in the right place, guided by the right person. And yet, after doing all that and more, I thought, “that didn’t solve anything. That didn’t fix me or the guilt in my soul.”

No matter what your religious upbringing, what traditions, sacrifices, or things you do, we can’t fix ourselves, pay for the brokenness in our lives, or remove the pain we’ve caused. There’s really nothing we can do, that’s why God had to intervene. Not only paying for who we are and what we have done, but empowering us to change.

No amount of having the right exterior clothing, performing rituals, or even fasting can change us from within. There’s an old hymn[1] puts it so well.

What can wash away my sin?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus;

What can make me whole again?

Nothing but the blood of Jesus[2].

This is the “unique genius” of Christianity! Every other religion, view of life, or philosophy puts the burden solely on us. We have to fix ourselves; we have to come up with the energy to repair our brokenness. And we always, always, always fall short because within ourselves, we can’t change.

This comes alone from God through Jesus. Yes, it sounds exclusive, because it is. Every other approach depends on us. This depends on God, and God alone.

Isn’t it time to change teams? Time to change your approach to life and how you manage it? Isn’t it time to give Jesus a chance?

[1] [2] Nothing But the Blood of Jesus, Robert Lowrey, 1876

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