Text: Matthew 20:17-28
For shalom in our neighborhoods
To be bearers of shalom to others
MATTHEW’S STORY TURNS TOWARD its conclusion, and Jesus gets his disciples ready: “we are going up to Jerusalem.” Jerusalem: fought over for millennia, yet named Yerushala’im: The Abode of Peace, the Home of Shalom, for the city with its Temple was the presence of the Peace of Israel, God Almighty.
What happens after this conversation is the working out of the logic of the parable from yesterday: God will be generous with what is his—he will bestow his peace to all. Jesus is both the bearer of God’s presence and the bearer of humanity’s estrangement; in his suffering and death he solves the unsolvable problem of the rift between us, as St. Paul says: “while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son” (Romans 5:10). He is the Ransom that rescues us, that gives Shalom to us.
The significance of the Resurrection then becomes clear—Peace has a new home, a new abode. It is now found among men and women out in the world, for the Son of God has gone up and rules all things, and his peace is now ours, poured out into our lives. As author and scholar Cornelius Plantinga writes:
…[when] the Hebrew prophets say shalom, we say peace, but it means far more than mere peace of mind or a cease-fire between enemies. In the Bible, shalom means universal flourishing, wholeness and delight – a rich state of affairs in which natural needs are satisfied and natural gifts fruitfully employed, a state of affairs that inspires joyful wonder as its Creator and Savior opens doors and welcomes the creatures in whom he delights. Shalom, in other words, is the way things ought to be.
May your day be grace-filled ~ Pr. Dave Brooks