Jesus uses a couple of parables to teach us important lessons about prayer, specifically that we should be persistent and insistent in our prayer life. And while these approaches may be counter-intuitive, the Lord wants us to engraft them into our regular prayer life.
One of the most amazing things about Jesus’ final encounter with Peter is that He not only forgave his betrayal, but restored him to a position of leadership. Christ’s love is so deep that it that it not only saves us, but restores us to the places God intended for us from the beginning. Part of the good news of Advent is that there is no life so lost or broken that it cannot be restored by the love of Christ through His work on the cross.
Jesus was not known for aggressive behavior, but following His triumphal entry He zealously drove merchants out of the temple area, overturned the tables of the moneychangers, and barred people from carrying merchandise through the temple courts. What would ignite such a response from our Savior? Nothing short of love for the lost, whose access to the atoning grace of God was being blocked by commercial interests. Our Lord’s first advent was marked by a passion to reach the lost; a passion He imparts to us as we await His second glorious advent.
In Jesus’ day lepers were helpless, isolated, and hopeless. They faced shame, rejection, and ultimately death. Yet at the hand of Jesus they found cleansing and life. We, too, have a terminal disease far worse than leprosy called sin. Yet at the hand of Jesus we find cleansing and life through the Savior whose compassion on the cross knew no limit.
Matthew Levi’s dream job had become a nightmare. He had gotten rich, but at the expense of becoming an outcast from his own people. Worst of all, there was no way out. He was trapped in the snare his own hands had created. But into his world of merited misery came the unmerited love of Jesus Christ. The One who was born to die showed undeserved grace to a sinner in desperate need. Praise be to God, He continues to do so today!