Thursday, July 24, 2008

Faith like a criminal

Luke 23:39-43

One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Christ? Save yourself and us!"

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."

42 Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."

43 Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

So, I was reading this passage today and was struck by the crazy faith of the second thief. Remember that this conversation is happening as Jesus is hanging on the cross, humiliated, beaten, and almost dead. If there was ever a time for someone to doubt who Jesus was and what power He had, this would be the time.

Some probably see Faith in what the first thief said. But, by the reaction of the second thief we learn that those comments ("save yourself and us") were not out of a heart that feared God. It was an anxious heart (understandably) looking for a quick answer.

I wonder how many times my faith is like the first thief who wants God to do a certain thing, and wants it now.

I'm amazed at the quiet confidence of the second thief, who could see through the madness and chaos and put his only hope and faith in Jesus. Its crazy! How did the thief even see and know that Jesus would have a "kingdom"? The King was on the cross next to him!

Faith is the assurance of things hoped for and the evidence of things not seen.

Lord, help us to develop a quiet confidence in You and in the ultimate outcome of your plans, which will always be for our good.


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