When reading this event in Isaac and Rebecca's life, I am struck by history repeating itself. Twice Abraham did the same thing with Sarah (Genesis 12:11–13, 20:2). How often when I am under pressure do I do what my parents did? I am so thankful for godly parents. But, I know they would be the first to admit not all their decisions were ones they would want their children to make. Notice in the previous two verses what God says about Abraham's descendants and why He would bless them. God says He will multiply them, give them land and bless all the earth through them, because Abraham obeyed God and kept His commands, statues, and law.
Thank You, Father, for Your instruction and Your blessings. I want to be a parent and grandparent whose descendants will be blessed by You. I thank You for the gift of my family. May they be a blessing to You. Please may I be a father who obeys Your voice and keeps Your instruction, not just for my benefit but for my family's.
What a great description of the church, "you who are blessed by my father". The instruction in this passage convicts me of how I treat those who are blessed by my Father. Jesus makes it very clear how important these people are to Him. In verse 40, He says "as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me ". In verse 45, He says "as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me". In Acts 9:4, Jesus asks Saul why he is persecuting Him when the physical persecution is being inflicted on His followers. Jesus views the way I treat those who are blessed by His Father as the way I treat Him. I know as a follower of Jesus Christ, I am to love my neighbor as myself, but it appears the way I treat other followers of Christ is a unique category.
Jesus, I'm blown away by the care You have for those blessed by Your Father. May the unique relationship I have with them be as caring as Yours.
"They had certain points of dispute with him about their own religion and about a certain Jesus, who was dead, but whom Paul asserted to be alive." This is always the crux of the issue, is it not; Is Jesus alive? If Jesus never was raised from the dead, what I choose to believe or do about Him is no different than any other man. If, on the other hand, Jesus lived, died and was raised from the dead, that demands my attention since He is uniquely different. That is exactly the claim Jesus makes and one the Bible repeatedly makes about Him.
King Jesus, I want my life to reflect my understanding and belief of You being risen from the dead. May the claims I make of You reflect the claims You make of Yourself.