Reflections: Today in our readings we see a theme of work that is left to be done. As Joshua gets to the end of his reign as the spiritual leader of the Jews, chapter 13 shows how many kings he has overthrown, as he has been led by the King of kings. Joshua whose name means “God saves”, and is a derivative of Jesus’ name, is a man who completely put his trust in the Lord and obeyed his every command. As he did so, he got to see God work in powerful ways. God even did some of the work himself (see verse 6!). From start when he went out and spied the land and said, “It is beautiful and we will conquer it!” Until these last days of faithfulness, Joshua is a great model for us learn from as we look to take the land God has for us, in terms of his kingdom coming on earth as it is in heaven.
Then, as we move into our gospel, we see Jesus’ heart for his people and how he longs to gather his people like a hen gathers her chicks. But he also realizes that this will mean his going to the cross and many will be opposed to him. He is threatened by Herod, but that doesn’t deter him from the mission he was sent here for. Though his motives are pure, those who are in power do not see it that way, and only see him as a threat to their power.
As we seek to live out Jesus’ purposes for our lives and continue to extend His kingdom and gather those who He has called out of the world, there will surely be opposition. Power and control are big themes today, and as we follow Jesus and call others to follow him the biggest opposition with come from those in power. Yet, in following Jesus, we find true power which comes as we surrender our lives to Him. As Jesus, the King of kings, rules our lives, we find freedom from sin and the ability to live a life that gives glory to God by serving Him and loving others.
A psalm. A song. For the Sabbath day.
1 It is good to praise the Lord
and make music to your name, O Most High,
2 proclaiming your love in the morning
and your faithfulness at night,
3 to the music of the ten-stringed lyre
and the melody of the harp.
4 For you make me glad by your deeds, Lord;
I sing for joy at what your hands have done.
5 How great are your works, Lord,
how profound your thoughts!
6 Senseless people do not know,
fools do not understand,
7 that though the wicked spring up like grass
and all evildoers flourish,
they will be destroyed forever.
8 But you, Lord, are forever exalted.
Land Still to Be Taken
13 When Joshua had grown old, the Lord said to him, “You are now very old, and there are still very large areas of land to be taken over.2 “This is the land that remains: all the regions of the Philistines and Geshurites, 3 from the Shihor River on the east of Egypt to the territory of Ekron on the north, all of it counted as Canaanite though held by the five Philistine rulers in Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath and Ekron; the territory of the Avvites 4 on the south; all the land of the Canaanites, from Arah of the Sidonians as far as Aphek and the border of the Amorites; 5 the area of Byblos; and all Lebanon to the east, from Baal Gad below Mount Hermon to Lebo Hamath.6 “As for all the inhabitants of the mountain regions from Lebanon to Misrephoth Maim, that is, all the Sidonians, I myself will drive them out before the Israelites. Be sure to allocate this land to Israel for an inheritance, as I have instructed you, 7 and divide it as an inheritance among the nine tribes and half of the tribe of Manasseh.”
Jesus’ Sorrow for Jerusalem
31 At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, “Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.”32 He replied, “Go tell that fox, ‘I will keep on driving out demons and healing people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.’ 33 In any case, I must press on today and tomorrow and the next day—for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem! 34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
Jesus at a Pharisee’s House
14 One Sabbath, when Jesus went to eat in the house of a prominent Pharisee, he was being carefully watched. 2 There in front of him was a man suffering from abnormal swelling of his body. 3 Jesus asked the Pharisees and experts in the law, “Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?” 4 But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him on his way.5 Then he asked them, “If one of you has a child or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull it out?” 6 And they had nothing to say.
If you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the Lord. Jeremiah 29:13-14
Zacchaeus climbed a sycamore tree to see Jesus, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” Luke 19:4-5
O Lord, sometimes it is difficult to hear your voice amid the everyday noise and distractions of our lives. Pause our lives, if only for an instant, to let us hear you clearly and know that you are still with us. Amen.