Theme of the Week: Receiving and Being a Blessing
Bible Verse: From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. John 1:17 NLT
Scripture Reading: John 1:1-18
Yesterday, we looked at the power of blessing, but also at its limits under the old covenant: Isaac had two sons but only one blessing. One or the other would get it. Not both.
The Jacob and Esau story has a companion story in the New Testament. It’s the parable of the Prodigal Son, in Luke 15. But that title is misleading. It’s really a story about two sons, one a Jacob-like schemer, the other an Esau-like plodder. Even more, it’s a story about the real Prodigal: the father. Prodigal, after all, means one who spends without measure. The one who does that in Jesus’ parable is not the younger son. It’s the father. He gives one blessing after another. He spends without measure.
Think about Esau’s woebegone reaction to the news that Jacob had stolen their father’s one and only blessing: “’Do you have only one blessing, my father? Bless me too, my father!’ Then Esau wept aloud” (Genesis 27:38).
Jesus’ parable ends similarly, but then offers a grace-filled twist. The older son, like Esau, wants to lament his loss of the blessing. But the father has a surprise.
Meanwhile, the older son was in the field. When he came near the house, he heard music and dancing. So he called one of the servants and asked him what was going on. ‘Your brother has come,’ he replied, ‘and your father has killed the fattened calf because he has him back safe and sound.”
The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. But he answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends. But when this son of yours who has squandered your property with prostitutes comes home, you kill the fattened calf for him!”
“My son,” the father said, “you are always with me, and everything I have is yours.”
Everything I have is yours. Jesus is telling in narrative form what John states as a basic principle of the Kingdom: In Christ, we have all received one gracious blessing after another. In Christ, blessing has no limit.
Receive his blessings. Extend his blessings. Teach your children to receive and extend blessing as well.
But here is where the lesson gets both hard and interesting: Luke 15 speaks about blessing those who don’t deserve it. It’s for wayward sons who have squandered their father’s grace. It’s for bitter sons who have never said thanks to their father for all he’s given. Is there someone in your life – maybe in your family – who doesn’t deserve blessing but who you, because of the abundance of Christ’s grace in your own life, you can give it to anyhow?
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