Portraits of American History: A Vote that Mattered & The Rev. Henry Highland Garnet

At the close of the American Civil War, both exhaustion and tension rose high and traveled deep into the hearts of men. Yet for some, exuberant expectations ran just as high and deep!

To bring the Emancipation Proclamation into it’s full strength and power, the people knew that more change was necessary. In order to keep slavery out of our country, we needed an Amendment to the Constitution to clearly spell out plainly that it’s evils will no longer prevail – more intentional spilling of ink rather than blood. Thus, the 13th Amendment was drafted, refined and it was proposed in 1863 – the same year the Emancipation Proclamation came into effect. It was subsequently voted on in 1865. Let’s go to that moment:

Returning to 1865, while there were numerous celebrations by black Americans and others at the end of the Civil War, even before the war had come to an end, a vote had been held in Congress on the constitutional amendment and a poster was quickly issued to honor the 137 members of Congress who had voted to end slavery. 

At the time of the vote, there were 118 Republicans in Congress and 82 northern Democrats. Of the 118 Republicans, all 118 voted to abolish slavery; of the 82 Democrats, only 19 voted to end slavery – only 23 percent of Democrats – and those were the northern Democrats! … 

When the vote was taken in Congress on the 13th Amendment to abolish slavery, the chambers were packed from wall to wall with expectant observers. After the numbers were counted and it was announced that the amendment passed, a roar erupted from the thousands in the chamber; hats were thrown and voices were raised in exuberant cheers. Congress had voted to end slavery! How should something that profound be celebrated? 

Members of the House asked that a sermon be preached to commemorate the event. And whom did they ask to preach the sermon? The Rev. Henry Highland Garnet, who became the first African American to speak in the halls of Congress.

Barton, David, Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White, WallBuilders Press: Aledo, 2004, pgs. 37-39

This is the account from Wikipedia:

In mid-January 1865, Speaker of the House Schuyler Colfax estimated the amendment to be five votes short of passage. Ashley postponed the vote.[57] At this point, Lincoln intensified his push for the amendment, making direct emotional appeals to particular members of Congress.[58] On January 31, 1865, the House called another vote on the amendment, with neither side being certain of the outcome. With 183 House members present, 122 would have to vote “aye” to secure passage of the resolution; however, eight Democrats abstained, reducing the number to 117. Every Republican (84), Independent Republican (2), and Unconditional Unionist (16) supported the measure, as well as fourteen Democrats, almost all of them lame ducks, and three Unionists. The amendment finally passed by a vote of 119 to 56,[59] narrowly reaching the required two-thirds majority.[60] The House exploded into celebration, with some members openly weeping.[61] Black onlookers, who had only been allowed to attend Congressional sessions since the previous year, cheered from the galleries.[62]

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirteenth_Amendment_to_the_United_States_Constitutio
Barton, David, Setting the Record Straight: American History in Black & White, WallBuilders Press: Aledo, 2004, pgs. 42

You can read the original sermon here.

Published in: on 7 AMpMon, 17 Aug 2020 11:08:12 -040008Monday 2016 at 11:08 am  Leave a Comment  
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Book Quotes | 13 August 2020

Okay, so I have been reading a lot lately – well, a lot for a husband and father of three who works way too much…so probably not that much, but for me it’s been much more than recent history… Not that we have that cleared up, this is probably going to be pretty extensive, so here we go:

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Up From Slavery: An Autobiography by Booker T. Washington

Edition I am reading | image taken from: http://www.randomhousebooks.com/books/185981/

Of my father I know even less than of my mother. I do not even know his name. I have heard reports to the effect that he was a white man who lived on one of the near-by plantations. Whoever he was, I never heard of his taking the least interest in me or providing in any way for my rearing. But I do not find especial fault with him. He was simply another unfortunate victim of the institution which the Nation unhappily had engrafted upon it at that time.

Washington, Booker T., Up From Slavery: An Autobiography, New York, NY: Modern Library, Random House 1999, pg. 4 [fyi, this was originally published in 1901]

So far as I can now recall, the first knowledge that I got of the fact that we were slaves, and that freedom of the slaves was being discussed, was early one morning before day, when I was awakened by my mother kneeling over her children and fervently praying that Lincoln and his armies might be successful, and that one day she and her children might be free. In this connection I have never been able to understand how the slaves throughout the South, completely ignorant as were the masses so far as books or newspapers were concerned, were able to keep themselves so accurately and completely informed about the great National questions that were agitating the country. From the time that Garrison, Lovejoy, and others began to agitate for freedom, the slaves throughout the South kept in close touch with the progress of the movement. Though I was a mere child during the preparation for the Civil War and during the war itself, I now recall the many late-at-night whispered discussions that I heard my mother and the other slaves on the plantation indulge in. These discussions showed that they understood the situation, and that they kept themselves informed of events by what was termed the ‘grape-vine’ telegraph.

Ibid, pgs. 6-7

One may get the idea, from what I have said, that there was bitter feeling toward the white people on the part of my race, because of the fact that most of the white population was away fighting in a war which would result in keeping Negro in slavery if the South was successful. In the case of the slaves on our place this was not true, and it was not true of any large portion of the slave population in the South where the Negro was treated with anything like decency. … I know of a case on a large plantation in the South in which a young white man, the son of the former owner of the estate, has become so reduced in purse and self-control by reason of drink that he is a pitiable creature; and yet, notwithstanding the poverty of the coloured people themselves on this plantation, they have for years supplied this young white man with the necessities of life. One sends him a little coffee or sugar, another a little meat, and so on.

Ibid, pgs. 10-11

Then, when we rid ourselves of prejudice, or racial feeling, and look facts in the face, we must acknowledge that, notwithstanding the cruelty and moral wrong of slavery, the ten million Negroes inhabiting this country, who themselves or whose ancestors went through the school of American slavery, are in a stronger and more hopeful condition, materially, intellectually, morally, and religiously, than is true of an equal number of black people in any other portion of the globe. This is so to such an extent that Negroes in this country, who themselves or whose forefathers went through the school of slavery, are constantly returning to Africa as missionaries to enlighten those who remained in the fatherland. This I say, not to justify slavery – on the other hand, I condemn it as an institution, as we all know that in America it was established for selfish and financial reasons, and not from a missionary motive – but to call attention to a fact, and to show how Providence so often uses men and institutions to accomplish a purpose.

Ibid, pg. 12

And that’s just in the first chapter of this amazing book…

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Jesus Among Other Gods: The Absolute Claims of the Christian Message by Ravi Zacharias

All-inclusive philosophies can only come at the cost of truth. And no religion denies its core beliefs. Within such systemic relativism …

Zacharias, Ravi, Jesus Among Other Gods, Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 2000, pg. 7

Unsuspecting people make a fatal mistake when they give their allegiance to a system of thought by focusing on its benefits while they ignore its systemic contradictions. The entire life of anyone making prophetic or divine claims must be observed in concert with the teaching offered. Numerous historical and philosophical matters come into play when one seriously evaluates such claims.

Ibid, pg. 55

You see, that is the way God has designed us. One of the most startling things about life is that it does not start with reason and end with faith. It starts in childhood with faith and is sustained either by reasoning through that faith or by blindly leaving the reason for faith unaddressed. The child’s mind has a very limited capacity to inform if of the reason for its trust. But whether she nestles on her mother’s shoulder, nurses at her mother’s breast, or runs into her father’s arms, she does so because of an implicit trust that those shoulders will bear her, that her food will sustain her, and that those arms will hold her. If over time that trust is tested, it will be the character of the parent that will either prove that trust wise or foolish. Faith is not bereft of reason.

Ibid, pg. 60

Do you see what has happened? The skeptic started by presenting a long list of horrific things, saying, ‘These are immoral, therefore there is no God.’ But to raise these issues as moral issues is to assume a state of affairs that evolution cannot afford. There is just no way to arrive at a morally compelling ought, given the assumption of naturalism. What then does the skeptic do? He denies objective moral values because to accept such a reality would be to allow for the possibility of God’s existence. He concludes then that there really isn’t such a thing as evil after all.

Ibid, pg. 114

When evil justifies itself by posturing as morality, God becomes the devil and the devil, God. That exchange makes one impervious to reason.

Ibid, pg. 154

That last quote is a great description of American culture currently…

I have been reading some other things too, but this will suffice for now. More to come, but this is waxing long enough. Blessings on your readings.

What do you think?! Do any of these quotes strike a chord with you? Let me know in the comments!

Published in: on 7 AMpThu, 13 Aug 2020 06:34:00 -040034Thursday 2016 at 6:34 am  Comments (6)  
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Hello Again

My fellow bloggers, hello there!

It’s been such a long time!

I’m not even sure what I want to say today. It’s just been a while and I have missed communicating with you all; I just had to post something! I hope to get back on here with some consistency before too long. I have some pretty heavy topics – of which I am always hesitant to share – that have been burning in me.

I have been thinking through again what I want the structure of this place to be. However, I think I am going to leave it as it is. Although somewhat jumbled and a hodgepodge on here, it helps me organize my thoughts too.

I will be laboring to catch up with the 1,568,421 posts from many of you that I am behind. lol Although I have been absent, I do see your consistency, which has been an inspiration for me.

I have been writing while I was away! I am working on a larger project. Maybe it will turn out to be a first book … we’ll see! More on that another day.

Blessings to all of you and hopefully we’ll chat soon.

——— Powerful Words from Scriptures in this Morning’s Reading ———

Isaiah 64.1-3 — “Oh that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains might quake at your presence – as when fire kindles brushwood and the fire causes water to boil – to make your name known to your adversaries, and that the nations might tremble at your presence! When you did awesome things that we did not look for, you came down, the mountains quaked at your presence.”

Matthew 12.33-37 — “Either make the tree good and its fruit good, or make the tree bad and its fruit bad, for the tree is known by its fruit. You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

Published in: on 7 AMpWed, 12 Aug 2020 06:51:19 -040051Wednesday 2016 at 6:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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7-Word Story | Misleading Media

Precariously pitiful ponderings permeate public’s poisonous perception.

Published in: on 7 AMpFri, 31 Jan 2020 08:00:11 -050000Friday 2016 at 8:00 am  Leave a Comment  
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Unwrinkled Wooden Socks

It’s the mid 1960s in the United States of America.

Racial and social upheaval and renewal is swirling around as the country attempts to mend some of its tattered and poorly sewn founding fabric. The fight for equality and access. The fight for justice to be led by righteousness instead of prejudice. Marches, protests, beatings, arrests, speeches, sacrifices, forging relationships, courageous acts, and death collide on streets all around the nation.

 

Picture used from this article.

 

While dreams and revolutions are being whispered throughout every corner of the country, schools are beginning to integrate. As a result sports are taking on new challenges and becoming better. It’s a hard fought road that took time to pave. However, thanks to some forward and godly individuals, the process of integration in basketball started earlier. The first time collegiate post-season basketball was integrated was during the 1947-1948 season. It was integrated by the Indiana State Teacher’s College, which would become Indiana State University (that little school Larry Bird went to). Who was the coach? John Wooden.

 

See the source image

 

Going forward again to the mid-1960s, John Wooden is now the coach at a school by the name of UCLA. In coaching at this school for twelve years, he won ten national championships and seven of these were in a row. [By the way, UCLA has the most National Championships of any other school with 11; yes, Wooden won 10 of their 11!] This streak is unheard of even to this day! Needless to say, he created a basketball powerhouse; a dynasty that caused havoc for the rest of college basketball. A journey that started with humble roots on an Indiana farm is now making thunderous waves in the sports world in the context of tumultuous cultural times.

It’s true in any sport, winning attracts talent as the best players want to be on the best teams. Imagine you were one of these players coming to the campus of UCLA in the mid-1960s. You arrive at the school as one of the best high school players in the country. When you meet your new coach, what’s one of the first things he teaches you about the game? A new unstoppable offensive play? A havoc inducing defensive play? Does he start a conditioning program? No! None of the above. Instead he sits you down and teaches you how to put your socks on! What would you be thinking as one of the best athletes in the country? I know how to do that! Well, this is the type of thing that set Wooden apart as a coach.

Why did he do this? He told his players that it’s simple. If you do not put your socks on correctly, you will end up with blisters. If you get blisters you will not be able to play at your highest level. If you are not able to play at your highest level, the team will not be as successful as it could be. Foundations. The little things.

This post really isn’t about Civil Rights, the 1960s cultural upheavals and renewals, or even basketball. It’s about our habits; the small things that make up our foundation. How are we putting on our socks?

At work these last two days, our team forgot to put air into a hub. Something so simple. Three little seconds of air into a rubber lining of a metal shaft. Outcome? Due to no air holding the rolls in place, they moved on the shaft and it shut down the production line for over two hours! Three seconds = over two hours. The small blisters that pester our production. This story of Wooden came back to my mind when these things were occurring and caused a pause in me.

How am I putting on my socks? My work socks? My husband socks? My father socks? My writing socks? What small habits am I discipling myself with, or ignoring, that will inevitably have an outcome on my production?

 

It’s the little details that are vital. Little things make big things happen. – John Wooden

 

I hope you find your socks in good condition today!

Published in: on 7 AMpThu, 30 Jan 2020 09:50:07 -050050Thursday 2016 at 9:50 am  Comments (3)  
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Sunshine Blogger Award

Hello Fellow Bloggers, I am pleased to receive the Sunshine Blogger Award from Cassa Bassa, poet extraordinaire at Flicker of Thoughts. Ms. Cassa, thank you for thinking of me and giving me this nomination.

What is the Sunshine Blogger Award?

The award is driven entirely by the community, passed from blogger to blogger in recognition of their inspiring, creative and motivational blogs. Each nominee passes it on to 11 of their favorite bloggers, and round and round it goes. This is a great way to give recognition to new bloggers and those who may otherwise fly under the radar of many people.

For accepting the Sunshine Blogger Award nomination, there are a few suggestions:

• Thank the blogger(s) who nominated you and link back to their blog.

• Answer questions the blogger asked you.

• List the suggestions and display the Sunshine Blogger Award in your blog post.

• Nominate new bloggers & their blogs. Leave a comment on their blog to let them know they received the award and ask your nominees new questions.

Cassa, thank you for the nomination!

My Answers For My Friend Cassa:

  1. What drives you to blog?
    •  The reasons I blog: (1) I hope to reach people who do not know Jesus with the Gospel and to reach Christians with new/fresh views on Scripture. (2) I hope to be a published author one day, so I use my blog to exercise my writing muscles and to get feedback from others.
  2. What is the one thing you wish you will do without?
    •  Although I do like my job most days and I’m at a position now that it pays well, I hope to be free one day. I hope to be an accomplished enough author and/or own my own business so I don’t have to be a slave to others. So, I do like working and I work hard, but I wish I could do without having to work for others.
  3. What is one of your funniest memories?
    •  Okay…so I was in college. I used to hang out at the Multicultural Center as my mentor was the Director of the center. It was an old house that had been converted to this office. Several of us students would hang out in the Living Room. Anyway, I was leaving one day and there were several young ladies in the Living Room hanging out. The sidewalk in front of the building ran adjacent to the large Living Room window. So, being the cool guy I was – with my boots not laced properly per cultural style – I strolled real smooth down the sidewalk, until. Well, what had happened was … … there was a small spot in the sidewalk that was uneven. Being that I was walking with so much swagger, and not picking my feet up properly, I hit that small spot, and went tumbling down in the grass…in front of this window. I feel so hard, both of my boots fell off of my feet! Of course, initially mortified, I did my best to hop up, slip my boots back on and play it off. When I went back later, no one mentioned anything. So either, they were being very gracious, didn’t see it all “go down”, or, just didn’t care! Now, I find it hilarious.
  4. How do you take your coffee if you drink it?
    •  Many ways! Usually, with agave or raw sugar and whole milk or breve.
  5. What is the one thing you are proud of yourself?
    •  Persevering through the growth God has granted me. Also, for the husband and father I strive to be – hope I get close to being that guy one day!
  6. What is your favourite movie?
    •  Oh sis, this is a tough question! So many options and for so many reasons! In this context, I would say Finding Forrestersince this is the one movie that really enticed me to want to write. When this movie came out, I had just picked up trying to write poetry. It had a big impact on me. Actually, I need to watch this one again…
  7. Chocolate, Celery or good old steak?
    •  Yes!

 

My Nominees

Okay, I know that people are so crazy busy. I will make some nominations, but if this doesn’t suit you or you can’t fit it into your schedules, I will not be offended. Here we go.

Suchie – when I revised my blog and really started working at it last year, she was one of the first writers that I really connected with, what I call a “blogging buddy”. She was really encouraging and spurred me on. Also, very creative and versatile.

Ritu – I am always impressed by her faithfulness to her posts in terms of posting consistency and themes. She has some great weekly themes.

Mama X – the growth she gets from her journey is inspiring and she communicates this well. She communicates her faith in God well.

Pooja – Great variety and creativity in posts. Uses gifs in her posts so well!

Luna – for her poetry work, but also for sharing so many other people’s work.

 

I know I am leaving many folks out, but I will leave it here for now.

For those that I nominated, here are my questions for you.

  1. What is it about writing that you enjoy?
  2. What sparked you to start and keep your blog?
  3. If you could travel anywhere, where would you pick and why (can be fictional)?
  4. What do you like to listen to when you write?
  5. You are stranded on a deserted island. Excluded one religious text, you can have as many books as you like, but only one author. What author do you have with you?
  6. What is your favorite movie?
  7. It’s been a long tough week. You finally have some time to yourself and you decide to write. You go to a local coffee shop. What do you order?

Congratulations! I look forward to hearing your answers!

Published in: on 7 AMpWed, 29 Jan 2020 11:32:49 -050032Wednesday 2016 at 11:32 am  Comments (16)  
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Song Share – #1

 

Dear reader,

I hope this note finds you well tonight. I pray that you may find peace in the midst of the storm you may be facing – or facing soon.

My heart is full tonight! I have many things racing through my mind that I want to write about; I just can’t seem to organize them. The ink is spilling, but it’s just making some random stain and not, much to my chagrin, an artistic masterpiece. I digress.

Nevertheless, I wanted to be sure to reach out to you. So, I decided to share some songs tonight. Hopefully, there is at least one in this list you haven’t heard before! Blessings and peace to you all!

 

 

 

 

 

Published in: on 7 PMpTue, 28 Jan 2020 21:46:20 -050046Tuesday 2016 at 9:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Forging of a Legacy

As I’m sure you are well aware, Kobe Bryant passed away yesterday in a helicopter accident. This news struck me. Probably the saddest part is hearing about the young ladies – including his daughter – that lost their life.

He was my favorite player in the NBA and there is much I have gained from him through the years. Recently, it was learning more about his work ethic that really intrigued and encouraged me. I still have much to learn, particularly as it relates to how I approach my writing.

I will probably touch more on this throughout the week…we’ll see. For now, here is a clip of his work ethic. I don’t think it’s the best clip and there’s extra stuff added in that I could do without. However, this is a good source if you’re not familiar with him and are curious in learning more as it takes from various sources.

Blessings,

Published in: on 7 PMpMon, 27 Jan 2020 21:41:35 -050041Monday 2016 at 9:41 pm  Leave a Comment  
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I.C.E. #4

Things that have Inspired, Challenged or Encouraged me over the last week. As always, no explanations provided! If you ever wonder why something struck me, feel free to ask. Hope something here may I.C.E. you as well. Peace!

 

close up photography of snowflake

Photo by Egor Kamelev on Pexels.com

 

You may well ask, “Why direct action, why sit-ins, marches, and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are exactly right in your call for negotiation. Indeed, this is the purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and establish such creative tension that a community that has consistently refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks so to dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. I just referred to the creation of tension as a part of the work of the nonviolent resister. This may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly worked and preached against violent tension, but there is a type of constructive nonviolent tension that is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must see the need of having nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men to rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood. So, the purpose of direct action is to create a situation so crisis-packed that it will inevitably open the door to negotiation. We therefore concur with you in your call for negotiation. Too long has our beloved Southland been bogged down in the tragic attempt to live in monologue rather than dialogue.

Individuals may see the moral light and voluntarily give up their unjust posture; but, as Reinhold Niebuhr has reminded us, groups are more immoral than individuals.

 

  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Letter from a Birmingham Jail, 1963

 

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen him, you love him. Though you do not now see him, you believe in him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets who prophesied about the grace that was to be yours searched and inquired carefully, 11 inquiring what person or time the Spirit of Christ in them was indicating when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the subsequent glories. 12 It was revealed to them that they were serving not themselves but you, in the things that have now been announced to you through those who preached the good news to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven, things into which angels long to look.

13 Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ. 14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the passions of your former ignorance, 15 but as he who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, 16 since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 17 And if you call on him as Father who judges impartially according to each one’s deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile, 18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot. 20 He was foreknown before the foundation of the world but was made manifest in the last times for the sake of you 21 who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.

22 Having purified your souls by your obedience to the truth for a sincere brotherly love, love one another earnestly from a pure heart, 23 since you have been born again, not of perishable seed but of imperishable, through the living and abiding word of God; 24 for

“All flesh is like grass
and all its glory like the flower of grass.
The grass withers,
and the flower falls,
25 but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

And this word is the good news that was preached to you.

  • 1 Peter 1.3-25 (ESV)

 

You know me well
Sittin’ on the edge of my seat
Lookin’ at life, overanalyzin’ everything
Always depressed, tryna find a better version of me
Searching for somethin’ I know’s probably right in front of my feet

  • NF, “Time”

 

What’s been ICEing you? Share in the comments!

 

Published in: on 7 AMpSun, 26 Jan 2020 09:48:59 -050048Sunday 2016 at 9:48 am  Leave a Comment  
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Threads of the Divine Nature of Jesus | Week 3 | The High Priest

Saturday! The Sabbath day! A day of rest and worship. The day to refocus your attention on the Most Hight and to evaluate your past week and your priorities. The day to really spend time focusing on the eternal and not temporal.

Yet, we live in the temporal and still have temporal needs. The disciples, spending time walking around with Jesus on the Sabbath, were no different. They got hungry! While walking through a grain field, they took some of the heads of grain and ate them.

 

sunset cereals grain lighting

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

 

The problem with this? They were Sabbath breakers! Or, so said the Pharisees. Jesus chides these leaders and explains that neither he or his disciples broke the Sabbath. They just didn’t abide by the rules set by the Pharisees regarding the Sabbath. These are very different things. Jesus ends this part of the conversation by saying that he is the Lord of the Sabbath. Now, there is much there that speaks to the divine nature of Jesus, but I want to touch on something a bit more subtle.

Here is the passage in view; Matthew 12.1-8:

At that time Jesus went through the grainfields on the Sabbath. His disciples were hungry, and they began to pluck heads of grain and to eat. 2 But when the Pharisees saw it, they said to him, “Look, your disciples are doing what is not lawful to do on the Sabbath.” 3 He said to them, “Have you not read what David did when he was hungry, and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests? 5 Or have you not read in the Law how on the Sabbath the priests in the temple profane the Sabbath and are guiltless? 6 I tell you, something greater than the temple is here. 7 And if you had known what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice,’ you would not have condemned the guiltless. 8 For the Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath.”

I find verse three very interesting. Jesus is making the point to these leaders that what the disciples are doing is okay because, well, David broke the rules and ate food he wasn’t supposed to eat, so why can’t the disciples, right?! At least, that’s how it seems to read to us. However, it is highly likely these leaders knew the details of this David story well and caught some of the subtleties of it. Let us go to that story and see what takes place. We find it in 1 Samuel 21.1-6:

Then David came to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. And Ahimelech came to meet David, trembling, and said to him, “Why are you alone, and no one with you?” And David said to Ahimelech the priest, “The king has charged me with a matter and said to me, ‘Let no one know anything of the matter about which I send you, and with which I have charged you.’ I have made an appointment with the young men for such and such a place. Now then, what do you have on hand? Give me five loaves of bread, or whatever is here.” And the priest answered David, “I have no common bread on hand, but there is holy bread—if the young men have kept themselves from women.” And David answered the priest, “Truly women have been kept from us as always when I go on an expedition. The vessels of the young men are holy even when it is an ordinary journey. How much more today will their vessels be holy?” So the priest gave him the holy bread, for there was no bread there but the bread of the Presence, which is removed from before the Lord, to be replaced by hot bread on the day it is taken away.

Did David eat bread that he wasn’t allowed to eat? Yes, he did! However, did he unlawfully go into the Temple and take the bread, breaking God’s holy Laws? No, he did not! He beseeched the priest for bread and the priest granted David the shewbread – the bread that was consecrated only for the priests. David received permission from the one that had lawful access to the bread, took it as a gift and then he ate it. So, what are we seeing with the disciples?

 

shewbread

Picture used from bcooper

 

We see the disciples being accused of breaking the laws of the Sabbath. We see Jesus standing up in their defense. We see Jesus make a parallel to David, lawfully beseeching a priest for bread and the priest making the decision to grant David bread that he did not have access to.

Jesus, by his actions and then his defense, is declaring, as the Lord of the Sabbath, that he is the priest granting permission to his followers access to what was “not allowed” for them. He granted them legal access to partake. He is the eternal and divine priest. He is the one who was serving when the Father showed Abraham the pattern of the Tabernacle in heaven. As declares Hebrews 6.20, “where Jesus has gone as a forerunner on our behalf, having become a high priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

He is the eternal one! He is the divine one! He grants us legal access to places we dare not tread alone. Indeed, the vail is torn asunder!

May your thoughts abide in Christ on this day. Shabbat Shalom!

 

[Scriptures taken from the ESV]

Published in: on 7 AMpSat, 25 Jan 2020 08:53:02 -050053Saturday 2016 at 8:53 am  Leave a Comment  
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