Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Morning Psalms: 101, 109 | Evening Psalm: 119:121-144
Genesis 50:15-26 | 1 Corinthians 12:1-11 | Mark 8:11-26
 
Joseph’s brothers fear that, their father having died, Joseph may now repay them for their evil, reminds us of how they sold him into slavery. One of their motives may have been jealousy over their father’s preferment of Joseph, as evidenced by the gift of the famous coat. The way the brothers ripped Joseph’s clothing, covered it with blood, and handed it to their father suggests that one of their motives may have been to punish him.
 
 The gifts that parents give certain children can still be the occasion for jealousy and resentment in families. And this is no less true in the Christian family, where God seems to give certain good things to some and not to others. Received wrongly, such gifts may be the occasion for pride, as they seem to be for Joseph, or for resentment, as seems to have been the case for his brothers.
 
 In our New Testament passage, it seems that certain so-called “spiritual gifts” had become the occasion for boasting and rivalries. Paul makes three important points. First, the Spirit never denies but always proclaims the Lordship of Christ (12:3); therefore the Spirit’s gifts should declare the Lordship of the one who humbly gave His life for us. Secondly, while there are different gifts, there is one Spirit. As all instruments in an orchestra are intended to sound one symphony, so the gifts of the Spirit should proclaim the glory of Him who died for us. Thirdly, the Spirit’s gifts are intended for our common good, that in community we might reflect the beauty of Christ’s generous love given through His body, crucified and resurrected for our sake. The harmony restored by Joseph’s forgiveness of his brothers points forward to the gift of spiritual unity given us in Christ. Used for the good of the body, another’s gift proclaims the Father’s love for all in Christ.  
 
Lord Jesus Christ, have mercy on me for envying others and resenting You because their gifts are not mine. Please help me to use my gifts for others, and help me to see that their gifts are for me, that all our gifts are for the good of the whole body, to the praise of Your glorious name!
 

Chris Kauffman
MDiv Student
Reston, VA
   

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