The One Year New Testament
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29 When the crowds were increasing, he began to say, “This generation is an evil generation. It seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah. 30 For as Jonah became a sign to the people of Nineveh, so will the Son of Man be to this generation. 31 The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with the men of this generation and condemn them, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here. 32 The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.
33 “No one after lighting a lamp puts it in a cellar or under a basket, but on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light. 34 Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness. 35 Therefore be careful lest the light in you be darkness. 36 If then your whole body is full of light, having no part dark, it will be wholly bright, as when a lamp with its rays gives you light.”
When the “queen of the South” went to Jerusalem to visit Solomon (1 Kings 10:1–13), she was astounded at his wisdom because “Solomon answered all her questions; there was nothing hidden from the king that he could not explain to her” (1 Kings 10:3). But now that Jesus has come, “something greater than Solomon is here” (Luke 11:31) —Jesus is the ultimate expression of true wisdom. With the arrival of Jesus, “something greater that Jonah is here” as well (v. 32) —Jesus is the ultimate prophet who speaks God’s words to his people.
If the queen of Sheba listened to the wisdom of Solomon, and the people of Nineveh responded to the preaching of Jonah, how much more should God’s people listen and respond to the ultimate man of Wisdom, the supreme Prophet, Jesus. He is God’s final Word to us (cf. John 1:1).
Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, and Timothy our brother,
2 To the saints and faithful brothers in Christ at Colossae:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, 4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, 6 which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, 7 just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf 8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit.
9 And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, 10 so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God. 11 May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, 12 giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. 13 He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
As Paul begins his letter to the young Christians in Colossae, we see that the grace of the Father (Col. 1:2), the gospel of the Son (v. 5), and the love of the Spirit (v. 8) are enabling this church to experience and show the reality of Christ in their lives. With the help of faithful partners in ministry like Epaphras, Paul calls on the Colossian Christians to remember who they are and what they have because of Christ’s wondrous work of grace and truth (vv. 6–7).
The fruitful work of God in Colossae is the direct result of the church being delivered from the realm of darkness and transferred into the realm of light (vv. 12–13). Through Christ’s work on the cross, they have been rescued from and forgiven of their sins (v. 14). Because of this transfer from darkness to light, Paul calls the Colossians to live a new life that pleases God and bears good fruit (v. 10; cf. Matt. 7:17–19). With the knowledge, wisdom, and power that God will provide (Col. 1:9–11), believers can endure the trials and tribulations of the Christian life with patience, joy, and thanksgiving (vv. 11–12). It is the gospel itself that creates this kind of fruitful Christian life (v. 6), and therefore we do not “graduate” from the gospel of grace (see v. 23). Instead, we must move more deeply into the gospel over time, growing to appreciate the profound grace of God as we realize how profoundly sinful we really are.
13 Oh, that my people would listen to me,
that Israel would walk in my ways!
14 I would soon subdue their enemies
and turn my hand against their foes.
Thoughts For Prayer
God desires that people listen and respond to his Word. Pray once again for those who are not listening to the gospel of Jesus —they are ignoring the One who is himself God’s own Word to us.
Missions Prayer Requests More
June 20, 2019
Supported Workers: Pastoral Assistants
Pray for the 14 Pastoral Assistant volunteers in La Paz studying 16 hours each week preparing messages and preaching through the book of Romans. God is using these men to impact increasing numbers of churches in La Paz and Santa Cruz. Pray for Pastor Edgar Mamani, pastoring the IBM church, training PA volunteers, and developing ESI among Tacana First People’s church leaders in the Rurrenebaque region of Bolivia.
Montenegro (Europe). Independence has brought optimism and hope. Montenegro is a small country but has great potential. If it can avoid the enmity between ethnic/religious communities that plagues most of the Balkans, there is much to look forward to. Pray that people will seek the truth in the midst of their new-found nationhood.
The One Year New Testament Copyright Tyndale House Publishers, used by Permission. NIV Bible copyright International Bible Society.