Friday, April 15, 2016

Grace to believe

Traditional Jewish man (Image:
TODAY'S SPECIAL: Zechariah 12:1-14

TO CHEW ON: "And I will pour on the house of David and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace and supplication; then they will look on Me whom they pierced. Yes, they will mourn for his only son and grieve for Him as one grieves for a firstborn." Zechariah 12:10

In her 2015 memoir Love Triangles, Bobbie Ann Cole (a British-born Jew who recognizes Jesus as Messiah) tells the story of her sojourn in Israel where she, with her Gentile husband decided to become citizens. (For her it was called making aliyah.)

However, the cloud over the whole experience was the fact that she felt she had to hide her belief in Jesus as Messiah in order to be accepted. Though in public speeches the Prime Minister lauded Israeli democracy and tolerance, she knew of many Messianic Jews who experienced nothing but roadblocks in their attempts to become Israeli citizens. Her conclusion: "The nation whose vision I heartily embraced had a policy of waging war on Jewish believers like me" - Love Triangles, Kindle Location 1898.

The prophecy in our today's reading predicts a time when there will be a change, not only in Israel's political position from besieged to besieger (Zechariah 12:6), but also its spiritual position from rejection to acceptance of "… Me whom they pierced …"  (Zechariah 12:10).

"Me whom they pierced" sounds like Jesus.

How will this change take place? Through an outpouring of "the Spirit of grace and supplication." A sidebar article in my Bible explaining the word grace says:

"God's grace poured out upon Jerusalem enables them to look longingly and beseechingly toward their pierced King. God's grace will result in Israel's seeing Jesus as someone of infinite beauty" - Dick Mills, New Spirit-Filled Life Bible, p. 1261.

I would submit that God's grace is necessary to open the eyes of not only Jewish people but Gentiles as well concerning who Jesus is, what He did, and its personal significance. Let's pray for God to pour on all our unbelieving loved ones this "Spirit of grace and supplication" even as we continue to pray for currently beleaguered Jerusalem and its peace (Psalm 122:6).

PRAYER: Dear Father, Help me to never overlook the necessity of the wooing of Your Spirit to draw people to Jesus. I pray that He will be active in the lives of my loved ones who don't recognize Jesus for who He is and what He did. Amen.

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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