No Big Surprise

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Good morning:

No matter where you live in the world, the weather has both certainties and uncertainties. Monsoon season in India always begins in June and doesn’t let up until August. Summers in South Texas are always humid and hot. On the other hand the gulf coast never knows for certain when a hurricane will come raging through. The same is true for Southern Japan, where typhoons irregularly strike the island of Kyushu.

Ancient Israel was no different in having regular and irregular weather. There were several times when God sent a drought to the land of Israel, causing a lack of rain that was unprecedented. On the other hand there were common weather patterns that almost guaranteed a certain outcome. One such pattern was an East Wind on the Sea of Galilee. When the 12 disciples were exposed to a raging storm on the Sea of Galilee after leaving Jesus to pray, it was no big surprise. Sudden storms on the sea were common. Even before Jesus’ time, Solomon knew of the predictability of certain weather and wrote in Proverbs 25:23 “The north wind brings forth rain, And a backbiting tongue an angry countenance.”

 Soloman used this certain weather pattern to describe the certainty of problems that arise from a tongue that speaks in anger behind someone else’s back. Speaking in anger and bitterness to someone’s face is bad enough, but when it is done behind someone’s back, the result will only bring forth trouble for the speaker. From life experiences, you likely know this is true. Speaking ill of someone else in anger leads to no good outcome. It is as certain as a North wind bringing cold air. While it is certain that speaking ill of another in anger leads to sorrow, Jesus shows His followers that speaking good of others leads to joy.

Most specifically, Jesus does this as He advocates on His followers behalf. He speaks good of you to His Father, not because of the good you have done, but because of the good He has done for you. In Christ, you stand before the Father in heaven having lived the very same perfect life that Christ has lived. What joy this brings to every believer! In Christ, you stand before the Father, and Christ testifies on your behalf that you are a dear child of the Father. This is no big surprise either for it is the testimony Jesus has already made about you. “In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.” (John 14:2). Jesus is preparing a home for you. It is no big surprise, but it is such a large joy!

In Christ, Pastor Naumann