Sermons by John Spranklin (Page 4)
The people of Israel have brazenly rebelled against God by not going into the land. And we find ourselves asking, “Where to from here?” “After this kind of failure, how will God’s people continue in relationship with him?” Numbers 15 outlines a series of offerings they are to make and things they are to do once they enter the Promised Land which will remind them that not only did they start their journey because of God’s grace, but each step is taken only by God’s grace. We who have been saved by God’s grace through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus also fail and rebel. And likewise, we are only able to continue in relationship with God on the basis of his continued grace.
Having already given his disciples a description of life as the King’s people, in the beatitudes, Jesus addresses the question, “What does it mean to be the people of the king in our relationship to the world?” He says they are salt and light in the world. That is, as followers of Jesus (the King’s people) our lives are to cause others to glorify God by being unmistakably distinctive.
The Israelites were required to sacrifice hundreds of animals to make preparation for the ministry in the Tabernacle. The pinnacle and the end point of this costly preparation is hearing God speak to them through Moses. God speaks to Christians through the Bible and reveals himself to us through his Son Jesus. Do we treasure this relationship with God enough?
Jesus finally arrives on the scene, he is baptised and is about to begin his public ministry. John the Baptist and the Heavenly Voice announce him to be God’s chosen Messiah who will suffer for and rescue his people. He comes with all authority. People, then and now, must respond in true repentance.