Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Cold Transactions

I was thinking this morning how Jacob and Esau saw their family life as a business deal and because of that it cost them.

"Isaac loved Esau because he ate of his game, but Rebekah loved Jacob. Once when Jacob was cooking stew, Esau came in from the field, and he was exhausted. And Esau said to Jacob, 'Let me eat some of that red stew, for I am exhausted!' (Therefore his name was called Edom.) Jacob said, 'Sell me your birthright now.' Esau said, 'I am about to die; of what use is a birthright to me?' Jacob said, 'Swear to me now.' So he swore to him and sold his birthright to Jacob. Then Jacob gave Esau bread and lentil stew, and he ate and drank and rose and went his way. Thus Esau despised his birthright." - Genesis 25:28-34 ESV

What a contrast this cold transaction is to Jesus walking the streets and back roads of Israel teaching and healing strangers until they became friends and disciples.

Jacob and Esau seemed to have little love for one another. In a few short sentences we see the culture that Isaac and Rebekah brought these brothers into. Sometimes it happens that way in families but in a loveless world Jesus loves. His transactions are grace transactions. His favor reveals the heart of the Father. When someone needed to be healed there was no talk of bargaining.

"Now when Jesus returned, the crowd welcomed him, for they were all waiting for him. And there came a man named Jairus, who was a ruler of the synagogue. And falling at Jesus' feet, he implored him to come to his house, for he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As Jesus went, the people pressed around him." - Luke 8:40-42 ESV

Jesus didn't need much convincing did He?

"And a man was there with a withered hand. And they asked him, 'Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath?' - so that they might accuse him. He said to them, 'Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep! So it is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.' Then he said to the man, 'Stretch out your hand.' And the man stretched it out, and it was restored, healthy like the other. But the Pharisees went out and conspired against him, how to destroy him." - Matthew 12:10-14 ESV

These men accused Jesus of working on the Sabbath but this wasn't work. This was no business deal. This was the Father loving people through His Son.

When loving people seems like work I want to return here. When I start to think about how much effort it takes to maintain relationships I want to look at Jesus. He walked miles to meet a woman at a well. He stopped what He was doing to love a person.

He had grace transactions. He revealed God's favor. No one felt like a secondhand citizen around Him.

I'm so glad that my Father in Heaven doesn't love me because I am a good hunter. He just loves me and somehow that creates a capacity in me to love others.


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