Flesh and Blood Has Not Revealed This To You

Yesterday, driving back from camp, my 11-year-old disciple was recounting how his group was allowed to choose between adult–led group bible study or self–directed quiet time in God’s word. His group selected quiet time. At some point early in the week, as he was passing through the camp, he found a small piece of paper on the ground that categorized the bible by literature types: Law, History, Wisdom, Poetry, Gospel, Epistles, Prophecy, and Apocalyptic Literature.

Now he and I have been going through this together since he was a small child, but you never know when these things will start to make sense and they will own them themselves. As he contemplated what he wanted to read, he selected the minor prophets (one of my favorite sections of all scripture). When I asked him about anything he may have learned, he said, did you know that if you read these books of prophecy, you can look forward into the books of history and see where they came true.

I asked, can you give me an example?

He said, “the most obvious one was in Zechariah where it talks about a king coming on a donkey; that,” he said, “came true when Jesus rode into Jerusalem as told in all four Gospels (Mark 11:1–11, Matthew 21:1–11, Luke 19:28–44, and John 12:12–19), those are the books of history that show it.”

I asked, to clarify, “was this something someone was leading you through? …did your camp counselor teach you this?”

He said, “No, it was just obvious when I read the minor prophet books.” He then said excitedly, “… and there are others!”

I have seen this on many occasions when people are equipped to study God’s word, in order to know Him and follow Him, they often encounter the living God in their study, who reveals truth to them.

He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”

And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”
(Matthew 16:15-17 ESV)

Brothers and sisters, this is why we are instructed to teach our children, to disciple them, so that when God speaks, they have ears to hear him.

You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.

You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.

(Deuteronomy 6:5-7 ESV)

Keeping Short Accounts: The Ministry of Reconciliation

Honoré de Balzac's Melmoth reconciled
Keeping Short Accounts Makes the Process of Reconciliation Easier

One theme that recurs in our household is the process of reconciliation. At the end of any transaction should be the process of reconciliation. It is an accounting to completion. What I mean by that is for any transaction or interaction to come to a close, there needs to be an accounting for what is transacted (interacted) and payment or restitution made.

Today an ugly interaction occurred between two members of my household. One left for the bed room, smoldering and diverting attention by reading, the other was folding laundry, regretting and smarting from the damaging interaction. In the end, what was needed to bring them together was reconciliation. I explained to my apprentice the concept of transaction reconciliation.

I gave an example of a shop keeper and a customer reconciling accounts at the end of the month, with the items of the transaction evened out through agreed accounting and final payment. I explained that when one party is injured in a confrontation, there is payment due. That payment is confession in admission and seeking of forgiveness, which is where the reconciliation happens. I am happy to say that the transaction occurred and both reconciled to good relations immediately after our conversation.

The conversation continued around the concept of keeping short accounts with each other and God, meaning that if in the example,  the shop keeper and the customer wait to long between reconciliations, some things are forgotten and or relations are damaged and mistrust ensues. Keeping a short account of our sins with God makes it easier to keep a good relationship with Him, wherein we can hear from Him clearly through His holy spirit daily, hour by hour.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation; that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Corinthians 5:17-21 ESV)