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  • Writer's picturePastor Hans Fiene

Matins Devotion: April 8, 2024

In politics, you’ll rarely hear a politician say “don’t vote for me for the wrong reasons.” Most of the time, they don’t care if you vote for them because you misunderstand their positions or because of some shallow hatred of the other candidate. All they care about is that you vote for them. Likewise, in the world of commerce, you’ll probably never hear someone say “don’t buy our products for the wrong reasons.” The CEO of Kellogg’s, I imagine, doesn’t care if you buy Corn Flakes because you think Cheerios are poisonous or because you believe you think his cereal will give you better odds of winning the lottery. He just wants you to buy the cereal.

But this is now how things are with Jesus. Jesus does not want you following Him for the wrong reasons, which is something we see when Jesus returns to Nazareth. Word about Him is spreading, and the people are anxious to believe that this hometown-boy-made-good is a powerful prophet, that He’s going to be something great and mighty. They’re overjoyed to hear Him quote from Isaiah and identify Himself as the Messiah who will preach good news to the poor, give sight to the blind, and set the captives free.”

But then Jesus presses the people. He tells them that Nazareth is not going to be the sight of His greatest miracles, that His own people are going to reject Him and despise Him. In all of this, Jesus is essentially saying, “I have not come to be your small town hero who makes you feel important. I’ve come to be the Savior who wins salvation by laying down His life, by being humiliated, crucified and killed.” And, as He predicted, His own people would rather kill Him than hear that message. 

So Jesus doesn’t want your shallow, self-glorifying faith. He doesn’t want your fickle hunger for political victories. He wants you to go with Him to Calvary, to the place of sorrow and bloodshed where your sins are destroyed, where He liberates you from the jaws of the serpent, where He opens your eyes to see the radiance of God’s love for you. He wants you to follow Him to that cross and to the empty tomb where He places all of that glory, all of that love into your hands. Leave your worthless faith behind and follow the true Savior into His kingdom.

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