This week we focused on chapters:
Matthew 14-15; Mark 6:14-56, 7-8; Luke 9:7-17; John 6
Matthew 16-18; Mark 9; Luke 9:18-62; John 7-10
I was able to see a theme of Personal Sacrifice very prominently in the reading, which is something I can improve on. Often times I find myself wanting to be alone and away from the commotion of the world, but I will get a call to spend time with family or invitation to the temple, etc. If someone is in need of a friend or help with something, I can be better at sacrificing my alone time and going to help them. Jesus was able to show this example when He gave up His grief period over the death of His beloved friend, John, and instead preached to the crowd and fed them.
One of my favorite stories has always been Jesus and the woman taken in adultery. This is an odd favorite story, but it touches me personally every time I read or hear reference to it. First, our sins do not need to be known to other people as hers was found out. I’m grateful we live in a different era now. I find that we can act as those men did to her, though, when we find a weakness in others. We do not physically torment them, but we judge them and gossip instead of lifting them up. Jesus was able to condemn this behavior by reminding others that they, too, are not without sin. If we were to remind ourselves of that fact before passing harsh judgment or making assumptions, we would be able to see more clearly how to help. Jesus did not condemn her for her sin. He forgave her but was firm in helping her to not make the same mistake again. Go and sin no more. We can be that positive influence in the lives of others.