The Authority of the Son Rejected (v1-19)
Rejoicing: We know that John’s Baptism was from God, and that your authority, Jesus is from your Father in Heaven. We know that it is you calling us to holy compassion, pouring out healing and restoring power. We know that you are the God who forgives. We see that century after century you have sent messengers of your holy love, who have been rejected by many people- yet they, filled with your love continued faithfully calling them to return to you. They were faithful unto death. You yourself did no less when you came: seeking and saving the lost, even though those very people, whom you sought to save, sought your death. You are ‘the stone the builders rejected’ yet you are the chief cornerstone of our salvation.
Thanks: Thank you for all the messengers you have sent. Not only the prophets and writers of Scripture, but also for the teachers, preachers, friends and witnesses who have told us about your love. Thank you for the Holy Spirit whose power caused us to receive the truth into our lives.
Confession: We would have been like the Pharisees, rejecting God. We were like them for a time. But your mercy, and your mercy alone broke through our stubbornness, and gave us repentance, understanding and faith. Thank you!
Asking: Continue in your patience, and send more messengers throughout the earth. Send me and many others to help the world receive your love and turn fully to you.
Giving What’s Due:
Praise: You have allowed us to exercise authority in this world, each in our own spheres. You have been gracious in this, giving our lives meaning. In your wisdom, you have deemed that we need servants to work for the common good, in the government of your church, nations, territories, cities, businesses, organizations, and families. Thank you that we often have a voice in choosing fit leaders: give us wisdom in the exercise of our authority
Thanks: Teach us to give high respect to all those in authority, and to seek their good, praying for their wisdom, faithfulness and grace. Teach us to be thankful for those who are in authority, and to be responsible in supporting them and encouraging them to do your will.
Confession: I do not always respect any authority- even yours sometimes. I chafe under ‘poor’ leadership, and undermine those I don’t respect. You have called me to lift them up and seek their spiritual improvement. Forgive me. Teach me to work for their good, and use their authority over me to teach them the blessing of submission to you.
Asking: Bless the government at all levels of your world, that those in authority may do good for those they serve.
The Resurrection (v27-40)
Praise: You show such wit when people test you with trick questions. You cut through the games to the heart of the matter. You are the God of the living! The resurrection of the dead comes from who you are! It is part of your being! You do not leave us dead forever but, in your love, you remember us and raise us to eternal life. You know from the beginning what how the resurrection will happen, and how glorious it will be. You have thought of our needs, and worked out all the complexities, therefore we can trust you, as always, with the things we can’t yet understand!
Thanks: Thanks for the promise of the Resurrection. We are blessed in this life to know that all sorrows will end, and that we shall rejoice together with you forevermore.
Confession: When I think of all the times I have let my questions and doubts keep me from you, I repent. Forgive me. You have faithfully answered some questions, and faithfully shown that other questions don’t matter. But I will bring all my questions to you, not to trap you, but to trust you with even my doubts.
Asking: Give me such wisdom as you have to help others trust you as their Saviour and Lord.
Whose Son is the Christ(v41ff.)
Praise: you are the Christ, the Son of the Living God!