Greetings from Hong Kong. I apologize for not being up to speed with the blogs. Between jetlag and family meeting after meeting, it’s been pretty tiring to say the least. Not that it’s an excuse, but the energy drain is ever so influential…
Just as chapter 9 begins, Jesus addresses the previous crowd of chapter 8 with this statement: “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power”. Perhaps this Jesus eluding to predestination?
We also learn about the power of prayer in this chapter. Forgive me if this sounds childish and borderline heretic or even faithless, but I must admit there are times I actually have the audacity to ask “Does praying actually work? Am I actually buying this?” Perhaps it’s simply a lack of faith and even sinful, but I do try to be truthful about these thoughts. To be honest, I sometimes even ask myself if I’m genuinely praying. Am I genuinely bringing my/other’s worries to the Lord? Am I even praying when others are around, or am I just saying words that sound good…?
Just as we near the end of the chapter, Jesus speaks about the temptations to sin. Here, we learn the gravity of sin. While I’m sure the gravity of sin is unexplainable, it’s explained to us in a more relatable way: the maiming of the body. Obviously, no one wants to lose body parts, but the mortification of sin is a must, and the conviction to mortify sin must be similar to the mentality of maiming oneself if it saves their life, in more ways than one (not that it would, but it’s an analogy).
*Man, there’s so much to talk about. Here’s hoping I’ll remember what to say when I actually get to it…
Divorce has always been a touchy subject, especially for me, with parents split up and all. But one thing I was glad was talking about parenthood with my estranged father. How amazing was I able to have a conversation with him, talking about my views of fatherhood, my plans for it and just my approach to it. I even explained to him that marriage was a gift from God; “What therefore God has joined together, let not a man separate.” Text speaks for itself. Yeah, just not super comfortable regurgitating what I said.
Entering the kingdom of God like a child. There needs to be a childish brashness and seemingly reckless approach in searching for the kingdom of God. A childish naivety and thirst for knowledge is required, primarily because we will never know everything there is to know about the infinite, yet that should not deter us from yearning for the Lord and His mysteries. Rather, we should be encouraged to explore more about our faith, whether we are early or well off in our years.
During my stay in Hong Kong, I managed to talk to my uncle about the materialistic mindset that many Hong Kong citizens harbour. Immediately this passaged popped into my head, but the next thing that popped up were questions: Am I not the same as these people? Would I be able to sell everything and/or live the minimalist life? If I was in the same position as the rich young man, would I have done the same as him?
Even though the disciples weren’t able to discern what Jesus meant when He was foretelling His death, how depressing was it to hear it? That a very close friend was going to be mocked, laughed at, humiliated, and killed and there is nothing that can be done. Suddenly, I’m beginning to understand why Peter said what he said earlier. He loved Jesus, and I’m sure he meant well. However, it was still wrong of the apostles to have made their own assumptions of what the Messiah will do and how He’ll save. Peter and the others also believed that Jesus was a military messiah, but little did they know Jesus was the Messiah of messiahs, the King of kings and it’s unfortunate they were blind to such truth.