Theodicy, or the justification of God in the face of evil, is a presumptuous undertaking. Why should deity necessarily be the epitome of all that is good? The ancient Mesopotamians did not assume so. The Sumerian and Babylonian gods were capricious, fickle, and only sometimes beneficent; there was no expectation of ultimate goodness.
There is only one serious reason for not being a Biblical monotheist. This is an inability to integrate, theoretically and practically, the idea of a wholly loving and supremely powerful God, on the one hand, and all the evil in the world, on the other. Every other objection is either inaccurate, irrelevant, superficial, or all three.
In this passage of Scripture, the first truth that is elucidated is the fact that no one knows “the day, nor the hour” (Matthew 24: 36-39, 42, 44; 25:13), of the coming of the Lord; only the Father knows, as stated in Matthew 24:36. In addition to that, it is emphasized that neither the day nor the hour is to be set; the emphasis is to be on preparedness. The Lord may tarry, but the key is to be ready whenever He comes (Matthew 24:46, 48, 50, 51).
Earlier this year Spectrum Magazine published an article in the “Migrant Journeys” section by Pastor Will James titled “Paradise Valley Refugee Assimilation Project.” In it, Pastor James described the work his church was doing with the local refugee community. This quarter Spectrum has published numerous thought-provoking essays on the role of the Church in the community, but most have been theoretical.
In scanning this week’s lesson title, “Jesus Bade Them, Follow Me,” what were your first thoughts? Did you actually want to know more about following Jesus? Or perhaps you thought about the first disciples of Jesus? Maybe these words have a long ago and far away connotation and you are in the now, so perhaps they do not seem to have much implication in your present context.
“Needs,” what does that mean? Look up the definition of the word and you will find a statement like this one: “Something that is necessary.” As humans, what do we need? What is necessary? In the field of psychology a theory proposed by Abraham Maslow, and still espoused today, ranks our needs as human beings. Needs take the form of a pyramid and build from basic up to self-actualization. Basic human needs according to this ranking are food, shelter, friendship, love, and security.
The title: “Jesus Desired Their Good” is engrossed with meanings. It reminds the reader of what Ellen G. White said regarding the ideal ministry of Jesus towards others. She fittingly indicated that Jesus ministered to the people “as one who desired their good.” Such an ideal method opened various networks for evangelism. It further tells of a church that is located nearby the skateboard park.
Editor's Note: We apologise for the lateness in posting last week's commentary. The author provided the commentary in plenty of time, the fault is entirely the editor's, who would like to express their appreciation to Tami Cinquemani for her contribution. The article is highlighted again in order to revisit this discussion.