Jan 14, 2011
Preached at St Stephen's Toowoomba Australia 9 Jan 2011 Readings: Isaiah 42:1–9, Acts 10:34–43, Matthew 3:13–17
He went about doing good...
Those of us (like me) with a conservative or traditional theology often miss the point of some of the doctrines we hold dear. When we say we believe Jesus was sinless for instance there is a danger that we think of Jesus never doing anything wrong. The real point that most of the New Testament writers are trying to make about him is not that he didn’t sin, but that “he went about doing good”. In different ways that’s the point that the three bible readings for today make about him.
This One promised in Isaiah and described in Acts and the Gospels, proclaimed and taught God’s peace, brought healing to the sick in body and mind. He proclaimed freedom to the captives and in him the first disciples like Peter believed that God had forgiven all those who came to him in faith, for he was the one who had “fulfilled all righteousness”.
If the God we believe in really does demand that we love him with all our heart and soul and mind, then none of us really measures up, except perhaps the one who was baptised by John in the Jordan to “fulfill all righteousness”. It is this obedient and “beloved” son who not only reveals, but also introduces us to God as a loving and forgiving parent.
We are called to respond to this gift of relationship in belief and repentance. I can think of no better way to do this than to follow Jesus example. We should seek to do what is good and right. We should forget about trying to do no wrong.
Questions for thought or discussion.
Who’s company would you enjoy more, somebody who never does anything wrong, or somebody who does everything right? Which kind of person would you rather be? How do you respond to the idea that on our behalf Jesus has done everything right?