Comentario

 

Real Faith and Irrelevant Pretty Notions

Por Jared Buss

Jesus raises Jairus's daughter.

When things go wrong, either in our personal lives or in the world around us, religion can start to seem irrelevant. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that it starts to feel like a useless hope. It feels like baggage that we no longer have a reason to carry around. Religious teachings can start to seem like meaningless ideals, and religious practices can feel futile. We might look at the messes in our lives and say, “My ideals haven’t stopped this from happening.” Or we might see tragedy and chaos on the news and say, “How is going to church going to change this?”

But all of this thinking is backwards. Religion isn’t a luxury item. It isn’t something that we ornament our lives with to testify that life is going great. It isn’t a beautiful thing that we do because we’re beautiful people. If religion is what it’s meant to be, then it only becomes more relevant the more things fall apart.

The clearest proof of this is the Lord’s well-known statement: “I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Matthew 9:13; Mark 2:17). People are so easily carried away by the idea that religion is for righteous people, but the Lord says “not so.” And good thing too—because where are these righteous people anyway? He came here for the sinners. He came to earth for the people who have created messes in their lives—not to congratulate them, but to help them. To save them.

This is why there are so many hard teachings in the Word. The Lord tells us how to fight spiritual battles—how to shun the evils that we unearth within ourselves. If we expect religion to be a beautiful adornment for beautiful people, these teachings are jarring. They’re a bit like a first aid course. Who wants to spend time thinking about injuries? If life was just a Saturday afternoon in an armchair, there would be no need to think about such things. It’s when something goes wrong that the value of first aid training hits home. Likewise, if we believe that nothing much is wrong with anything or anybody, it’s hard to understand why the Lord has so much to say about repentance. But if evil is real, it all makes sense. That bad stuff is what He’s trying to save us from. It’s why He tells us so many times that we need Him—we need His power. “Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength” (Isaiah 40:30, 31).

None of this means that we’re supposed to have a negative outlook on life. The Word isn’t there simply to teach us that hard times are real and that we need to be saved. The message of the Word is that the Lord can give us joy in spite of the hard stuff—in spite of the evil—if we let Him. He says: “Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you” (John 16:22). That’s not just some high-flying ideal. It’s a lot more powerful than the notion that life should be pretty. If the Lord is being “real” when He talks about the gritty and painful things—about loneliness and loss—then maybe He’s also being “real” when He promises that He can comfort us.

Much of the world seems to believe that religion is increasingly irrelevant. The world seems to say that religion hasn’t cured us of anything, so it’s a dead weight that the human race can dispense with. But this is backwards. The teachings of the Word are relevant because the world needs healing. This healing isn’t just something we can seek out for ourselves—it’s something we can share, if we have the courage. When we do this, we aren’t sharing a happy little ideal. We shouldn’t point to religion as something that’s merely “interesting.” We’re talking about the most real things in life—about struggle and sorrow, and joy that will transcend them.

La Biblia

 

Mark 2

Estudio

   

1 And again he entered into Capernaum, after some days; and it was noised that he was in the house.

2 And straightway many were gathered together, insomuch that there was no room to receive them, no, not so much as about the door: and he preached the word unto them.

3 And they come unto him, bringing one sick of the palsy, which was borne of four.

4 And when they could not come nigh unto him for the press, they uncovered the roof where he was: and when they had broken it up, they let down the bed wherein the sick of the palsy lay.

5 When Jesus saw their faith, he said unto the sick of the palsy, Son, thy sins be forgiven thee.

6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there, and reasoning in their hearts,

7 Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? who can forgive sins but God only?

8 And immediately when Jesus perceived in his spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, he said unto them, Why reason ye these things in your hearts?

9 Whether is it easier to say to the sick of the palsy, Thy sins be forgiven thee; or to say, Arise, and take up thy bed, and walk?

10 But that ye may know that the Son of man hath power on earth to forgive sins, (he saith to the sick of the palsy,)

11 I say unto thee, Arise, and take up thy bed, and go thy way into thine house.

12 And immediately he arose, took up the bed, and went forth before them all; insomuch that they were all amazed, and glorified God, saying, We never saw it on this fashion.

13 And he went forth again by the sea side; and all the multitude resorted unto him, and he taught them.

14 And as he passed by, he saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the receipt of custom, and said unto him, Follow me. And he arose and followed him.

15 And it came to pass, that, as Jesus sat at meat in his house, many publicans and sinners sat also together with Jesus and his disciples: for there were many, and they followed him.

16 And when the scribes and Pharisees saw him eat with publicans and sinners, they said unto his disciples, How is it that he eateth and drinketh with publicans and sinners?

17 When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.

18 And the disciples of John and of the Pharisees used to fast: and they come and say unto him, Why do the disciples of John and of the Pharisees fast, but thy disciples fast not?

19 And Jesus said unto them, Can the children of the bridechamber fast, while the bridegroom is with them? as long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast.

20 But the days will come, when the bridegroom shall be taken away from them, and then shall they fast in those days.

21 No man also seweth a piece of new cloth on an old garment: else the new piece that filled it up taketh away from the old, and the rent is made worse.

22 And no man putteth new wine into old bottles: else the new wine doth burst the bottles, and the wine is spilled, and the bottles will be marred: but new wine must be put into new bottles.

23 And it came to pass, that he went through the corn fields on the sabbath day; and his disciples began, as they went, to pluck the ears of corn.

24 And the Pharisees said unto him, Behold, why do they on the sabbath day that which is not lawful?

25 And he said unto them, Have ye never read what David did, when he had need, and was an hungred, he, and they that were with him?

26 How he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and did eat the shewbread, which is not lawful to eat but for the priests, and gave also to them which were with him?

27 And he said unto them, The sabbath was made for man, and not man for the sabbath:

28 Therefore the Son of man is Lord also of the sabbath.