Note: The AMI QT Devotionals from October 31-November 6 are provided by Pastor Charles Choe of Tapestry Church, Los Angeles. Charles, a graduate of UC Riverside and Fuller Theological Seminary (M.Div.), is married to Grace, and they have three children: Chloe, Noah, and Camden.
Devotional Thought for Today
During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, he offered up prayers and petitions with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
Earlier last month, I found myself with a terrible flu. During those two weeks of suffering, I made my way into the drug store several times. At one time, I noticed a guy in line who also was buying some flu medicine, and for some reason, I found that to be strangely comforting. I guess misery loves company, but perhaps the greater reason is that we all have a need to be identified with.
Today, the author of Hebrews asks, “How is it possible that Jesus sympathizes with us when He is perfect and we are sinful?” He wants us to clearly know that Jesus did not become a priest after He was resurrected and ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of God. Rather, Jesus was already a priest during His life on earth, for He offered up prayers and petitions as evident by what took place at the Garden of Gethsemane.
The night before the cross, Jesus was in great agony as He contemplated whether He would go through with the cross or not. In the middle of His bewilderment, confusion and anguish of soul, He does an unfamiliar thing: For the first time He appeals to His own disciples for comfort. He asks them to stand with Him in prayer as He goes further into the darkness of the night. And on His own, He prays, begging, “Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me.” He was seeking for another way.
This then explains the extraordinary words of verse 8: “Although he was a Son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.” Though He was the perfect Son of God, He learned what it meant to obey God when every cell in His body wanted to defy God. Yet, knowing this to be the will of God, He obeyed, trusting God to see Him through. He endured and overcame, even as everything in Him said to disobey.
How was this possible? Jesus, in the end, trusted God the Father. He cast Himself upon the Father’s loving, tender care to sustain Him. No matter how difficult it was, He surrendered His agenda for His Father’s. In what area do you have to say, “Nevertheless, not my will but Your will be done”?
Prayer: God, thank You that Your temptation was not a mere act, but in Your temptation and suffering, You found the strength to obey the Father’s command. Thank You for sympathizing with our weaknesses and for giving us the ability to overcome every temptation we face. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.
Bible Reading for Today: Mark 10
Lunch Break Study
Read Matthew 9:35-36: Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. 36 When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.
Questions to Consider
- In verse 36, we are told that Jesus had compassion on the crowd when He saw them? What led Christ to have this compassion?
- Jesus states that there is a tremendous need out there in verse 37, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few.” How does Jesus want us to respond to the needs of the harvest?
- What is the harvest God is calling you to today?
- He saw in the crowd as a people who were harassed and helpless, a sheep without a shepherd.
- In verse 38, we are told to pray earnestly to the Lord of the Harvest so that we might be sent out to the harvest.
As you reflect on your busy day today, did you sense the Lord of the Harvest with you? If so, did you find yourself praying for the people who make up that harvest?