SUNDAY 11 JUNE, 2017.
IN MY FATHER’S BUSINESS (2)
“…..Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business”, (Luke 2:49).
WHAT DOES IT REALLY MEAN: IN MY FATHER’S BUSINESS?
Jesus claimed that He must be about His “Father’s business”. What was His Father’s business? When His parents found Him, He was “sitting in the midst of the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions”.
Jesus was in the Temple as a thoughtful learner, not as a teacher. When the rabbis taught, they asked a lot of questions. Students would answer and ask their own questions. It was very interactive. At the time, the business of the Father for Jesus was to be a learner. The Full nature of the Father business would become clearer later in the ministry of Jesus
Jesus Himself made a strong and comprehensive declaration in the synagogue at Nazareth during His public ministry. He quoted from Isaiah 61:1-2, in Luke 4:18-19): “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are downtrodden, to proclaim the favourable year of the Lord”.
Throughout His ministry, Jesus proclaimed the gospel of the kingdom (instances of the gospel proclamation, Matthew 4:17-23, Mark 1:15, Luke 4:14-21), He healed the sick (Issue of blood: Matthew 9:20-22, Mark 5:24-34, Luke 8:43-48; Blind: Mark 8:22-26; Sick with a Fever: Matthew 8:14-15, Mark 1:29-31, Luke 4:38-39), He cast out devils (Matthew 8:28-34, Mark 5:1-17,), He proclaimed release to the captives (Born Blind: Matthew 20:29-34, John 9:1-12; 9:35-37,) and He set free those who were downtrodden (the woman she met at the well: John 4:4–26, prostitute: Matthew 26:6-13; Mark 14:3-9; Luke 7:36-50, tax collector: Matthew 9:9-13, Luke 19:1-10). Note, Jesus will still return to rule over the earth which means the Father’s business is still ongoing. In the meantime, we as knights are to be His hands, His legs, His mouth and so on to continue the Father’s business.
Indeed, the faith once delivered to us is under threat, as false teachers have infiltrated the Church and are bent on polluting the faith of believers. Therefore, the writer of the letter of Jude beckons upon us to contend for the faith. He says: “Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints. For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ”, (Jude 1:3-4).
Therefore, believers are in a better position to defend this territorial incursion. Remember, “we do not wrestle against flesh and blood but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”, (Eph. 6:12). If we must succeed, we must be battle ready. The Christian song is helpful here (A & M 629 – Onward Christian Soldiers Matching as to War).
PRACTICAL WAYS THE BELIEVERS CAN ASSIST IN THE FATHER’S BUSNIESS:
- To Defend The Faith:
We can defend the faith by knowing the truth. We do that by studying the Bible. Do not ever imagine that pastors and seminary professors hold a monopoly on this task. Without study, you cannot know what to defend. You must understand the basic doctrines of the faith so that you can recognize false doctrines and prevent wrong teaching from undermining your faith and hurting others. 2 Tim. 2:15
We can defend the faith as we grow personally with Christ. While knowledge is important, your personal relationship with Christ is essential. Through that relationship, God has given us the Holy Spirit as a teacher. With Christ, we are given spiritual understanding and experience that underscore our faith.
We can defend the faith by remaining unified on the essentials. While Christians can certainly disagree on many non-essentials (music in worship, methods of worship, methods of outreach, mode of dressing), we must always defend the truth of the basics of our faith as found in God’s Word.
Therefore, believers are not expected to sit on the fence for the time of action is now. Indeed, the Lord is looking for men and women who will be bold and courageous even it involves bodily harm to declare Him to the world. Apostle Paul’s stand becomes incontestable here in his resolve to communicate the truth of the gospel. He says: “for I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek”, (Rom. 1:16).
VEN. ERNEST ONUOHA
Rector, Ibru International Ecumenical Centre,