Vs. 13, “Then he said to me, “The north and south rooms facing the temple courtyard are the priests’ rooms, where the priests who approach the Lord will eat the most holy offerings. There they will put the most holy offerings—the grain offerings, the sin offerings and the guilt offerings—for the place is holy.” The Angel continues his grand tour as they look at more and more measurements. This time we zero in on the rooms for the Priests. There were two identical sides that housed the rooms for purposes of eating and changing of clothes. Sounds boring, but there was definite purposes behind them. This is where they would eat the certain foods of the sacrifice and it was to be a holy (set apart) function. The changing rooms were used for the priests to change from their priestly garments back to regular clothing.
Regarding application…Being Humble. Vs. 14, “Once the priests enter the holy precincts, they are not to go into the outer court until they leave behind the garments in which they minister, for these are holy. They are to put on other clothes before they go near the places that are for the people.” Perhaps you’ve heard the saying, “Be humble, or you’ll stumble.” In this situation, we can look none other to the example of Jesus. As the Christmas season nears, we are reminded Jesus came as a humble baby. Jesus could have come in his glorious transfigured self already a man, but instead, he humbled himself. The taking off of the priestly garments and going amongst the people is a application that we too must be ready to mingle among others. What can you do this week to be humble and share the love of Christ? Perhaps invite a friend to church, call a loved one, give to the needy…pray that God would humble us to love others!
Vs. 32, “For I take no pleasure in the death of anyone, declares the Sovereign Lord. Repent and live.” A very wise passage that we see today. This popular proverb that Ezekiel is responding to from vs. 2 can basically be summed up this way: The bad things parents do, children will reap the results and suffer (and basically have no chance in life). This was important to address because this proverb accused the unjustness of God. I like the example: A Godly father does right, has an ungodly son who does wrong, the ungodly son has a Godly son who does right! God will judge each three for what they did. In the end, we cannot blame the sins of others for how we chose to live this life.
Regarding application…Be a Transformer! Vs. 31, “Rid yourselves of all the offenses you have committed, and get a new heart and a new spirit. Why will you die, O house of Israel?” Like Transformers that look like cars…there is more than meets the eye. We may look like sinful human beings, but we are transformed from the inside out. So, some of us a need new heart and some of us just need to renew that new heart that we have been mistreating! God is just and good and desires all to come to Him. Let’s do our best to come to Him and bring others to church!
Vs. 37, “As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.” Question: What time is it? End Times. This was going to be a very difficult time for everyone involved, including us. Jesus let his dicsiples know as well as us that the Gospel would need to first be shared to all nations. Brothers & sisters, we are nearly at that time. Jesus gave us a comparison that the end times would be like the days of Noah. And those days were not good ones, for evil would increase! But don’t let all this disturbing news discourage you, for Jesus already warned us against it. There will be many false teachers and prophets coming to tell us things, we must always be discerning. Jesus points to the eventual Great Tribulation. And then Jesus will return (vs. 30), hallelujah! Though we don’t know the hour or day, let us be ever ready!
Regarding application…Be Ready! Vs. 44, “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” Question: Are you ready? We would be wise to stop procrastinating when it comes to being ready for our Lord! Bascially Jesus is warning us to stop living in such a way that does not reflect the reality that Jesus could come anytime. It’s like a parent telling us our rooms better be clean when they get home later on. But as a child, we play and think we have all the time in the world. But, the parent decides to come home much earlier than the child realizes. Now, the child finds themselves not ready because they were goofing off the whole time. Trust me, you don’t want to not be ready, just read the last two verses in our chapter. Let’s be ready! For the glory of our Lord, let’s be ready!
Vs. 30, “But many who are first will be last, and many who are last will be first.” Jesus would address some pretty tough issues in this chapter. One of the more controversial topics in Jesus’ day and in ours today is the topic of divorce (vs. 1-12). Some were finding excuses to get out of their broken marriages. However, Jesus would point out something more authoritative than the Mosaic (Moses) law…it’s God original intention. Divorce was never and is never part of God’s plan for us. Sadly, because of our harden hearts has God has permitted, but not endorsed divorce. We also see another example of how important children are to Jesus (vs. 13-15). And lastly, we come to our good old rich young ruler who wanted it all…riches and salvation (vs. 16-30). It wasn’t that money is inherently evil, but it was this man’s love of the money. Jesus knew exactly what was the one thing that was holding him back.
Regarding application...Who Can Be Saved? Vs. 25, “When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, “Who then can be saved?” The disciples were astonished because the belief back then was the richer you were, it showed how much more you were blessed by God. But, Jesus blew this whole concept out of the water. We still have this thing called the “Heath & Wealth” gospel today. Brothers & sisters…salvation comes no other way than Jesus. We cannot buy our salvation or do all the right things. It seemed impossible for the disiciples to grasp this, but Jesus would tell them all things are possible (vs. 26). This coming week, have a unselfish heart and remember how blessed we are that God was our witness for His son at the Mount of Transfiguration (message that was shared today) God bless!
Vs. 2, “and he said to his attendants, “This is John the Baptist; he has risen from the dead! That is why miraculous powers are at work in him.” Many people would mistake who Jesus really was. We will begin to see a shift in our reading to Jesus spending more time with his disciples. Sadly, we are now told about the demise of our dear John the Baptist. Herod Antipas (younger son of Herod the Great – who sought to kill Jesus as a baby)…was ruling, and would end having John beheaded. This passage of Jesus withdrawing upon hearing John’s death always touches me. Even though Jesus was grieving, he still took the time to have compassion upon those who were hurting and turn the loaves and fish into a miracle. And of course, we end with the famous event of Jesus walking on water in the storm!
Regarding application…Don’t be Afraid. Vs. 27, “But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” It’s important to note that this storm was not caused because of the disciples disobedience. Jesus was the one who told them to get into the boat. Yet, even though the physical storm was upon them. Even though the storm of their spiritual toil and faith would again be tested with Jesus’ obedience on the cross…Jesus would tell them “don’t be afraid.” Question: What are you afraid of? I didn’t ask you if you are afraid…because deep down inside…there is bound to be something that you are fearful about. But, Jesus didn’t rebuke them for it…he encouraged them! Keep your head up and eyes on the Lord. No matter how hard it gets…open your heart to Him and be honest about your feelings! He loves you so much!