Monday, September 14

Honor your father and your mother.Ex. 20:12.

Jesus underscored this commandment by condemning the Pharisees and scribes who refused to provide for their parents. Jesus himself set a good example. For instance, when he was at the point of death on the stake, Jesus entrusted the care of his mother, who was apparently then a widow, to his beloved disciple John. The apostle Paul was inspired to write that believers should provide for their own households. Consider the context of what Paul wrote to Timothy. Paul discussed who might and who might not qualify to receive financial support from the congregation. He made it plain that believing children, grandchildren, and other relatives of elderly widows were to be the primary providers. Likewise today, one of the ways in which Christians practice “godly devotion” is by providing materially for relatives in need.

Commentary

In his letter to the Ephesians Paul explained how Jesus set an example for married men even though he was never married. At Ephesians 5:28-32, the apostle wrote:  “In this way husbands ought to be loving their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself, for no man ever hated his own flesh; but he feeds and cherishes it, as the Christ also does the congregation, because we are members of his body. ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and he will stick to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.’ This sacred secret is great. Now I am speaking with respect to Christ and the congregation.”

What is the sacred secret?

Paul was referring to the fact that Jesus left his Father in Heaven and his family of the sons of God and he came to the Earth and took a “wife” — otherwise known as the bride of Christ — and the two are to become one in spirit, which is what it means to be in union with Christ.

This is the sacred secret and it is bound up with God’s entire purpose to set matters straight.

Taking the illustration a step further, Christ and his bride are going to produce offspring — the new generation of righteous persons who will live forever upon the Earth. That is why Jesus will be called “Eternal Father.”

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