My family and I love going to local events. Every year here in Saginaw, TX we have what is called “Taste of Northwest”. It is a vendor fair that hosts the local restaurants and businesses and is similar to a carnival. This year was a little less exciting but it is still good to eat dinner from all of the samples.
One particular booth was from a local church. I usually pay particular attention to the church ones to see how they evangelize or recruit for members. This one had a punching buddy (a punching bag that looks like a person) with a red cape around it and horns on his head. When a person would pass by they would say “Hey, take a shot at Satan!” “Punch him out!” Then they would give out some pamphlets about their church. I didn’t have any contact with them so I do not know if there was any evangelizing going on.
In today’s passage Jesus prayed to the Father and thanked Him for revealing who He was to the people. Then he says something like; “Come to me all who are tired and weary and I will give you rest.” Does this mean that after a hard days work that we go to Jesus and He will restore us? Well, He could but in this context Jesus is referring to those that have been battling the BONDAGE of Satan. You see many people think that they have to CLEAN UP THEIR life BEFORE making the decision to follow Jesus. But Jesus says in this passage that it is HE that can and will free us of the bondage and we can REST.
I do not believe that we have to battle Satan at all. Yes the Bible says that we have power over scorpions and snakes but the source of this power does not come from us. It comes from Jesus but I do not think it is actually us but rather Him working through us. Remember when the disciples came to Him and said that they had a hard time getting rid of a demon? What was Jesus’ reply? “This type can only be done with prayer and fasting.” Prayer and Fasting are the two acts that we can do to refocus our source of strength, God. So is teaching people to hit or battle Satan biblical? I do not think so. I believe that our job is to “GO” and “TELL” people about Jesus. The fight between Satan and God is handled by God. Although we can be used by God to do this it is not our mandate.
Kind of freeing huh?
Today’s Reading: Matthew 11:1-15 I occasionally love cheesy movies. OK I admitted in earlier posts that I like the old black belt theater movies but now I’m going a step further and saying that I love goofy, dumb, no sense, cheesy movies like “A Knight’s Tale” with the late Heath Leger. My favorite character is Geoffrey Chaucer played by Paul Bettany. The running theme is that he is the flamboyant herald to the Knight Von Leichtenstein. He is envied by the antagonist’s herald who tries to outperform him at the jousting events. Heralds were very important in those days. It was them who would announce the coming of the sovereign. When the sovereign was heralded by the herald everyone stopped and paid their respect by bowing or getting low to the ground. In today’s passage it would be appropriate to tell the story from a perspective other than Jesus but still highlight Him. John the baptist is in prison at this time and he is feeling a little unjustified. Remember this is the same John who was Jesus’ cousin and “leaped” in the womb when his mother Elizabeth was around the pregnant Mary. (Luke 1:41) The same John who ate locusts and honey while living in the desert. This is the same John who wore camel skins for clothes. Also the same John who was foretold that he would be the forerunner to Christ. He was also the one appointed to baptize Jesus. He was put in jail because he was the one who told Herod that it is wrong to “be” with his brother’s wife. While he was in jail he probably was at an emotional low. (Ya think?) He probably experienced doubts about what he heard about Jesus. He probably wanted a vindication of what he was teaching was true. So John sent some of his disciples to Jesus to ask Him if he IS the Messiah or should they seek another. Then Jesus replied to the disciples and instructed them that “Go and report to John what you hear and see the blind see, the lame walk, those with skin diseases are healed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the poor are told the good news. And if anyone is not offended because of Me, he is blessed.” Then He goes on to add that those who went to see that which was in the was greater than what they expected. It was Jesus’ own herald, the one who was prophesied about by the prophets – John. When we go to evangelize we are in a sense heralds. We are commanded to “proclaim” that the Messiah has come and is coming again. Can you picture if we heralded the coming Messiah like Chaucer did in the movie mentioned above?