Comfort and Discomfort - 12 March 2018

Wanda Bam

“And they that saw it told them how it befell to him that was possessed with the devil, and also concerning the swine. And they began to pray him to depart out of their coasts.” Mark 5:16-17

“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:10

In the Bible, I read that people, both ordinary and learned, reacted in a number of ways when Jesus illustrated the discomfort of sin. The laws of the land and the religious laws of the Jewish Council were regarded as “safe measures” when negotiating ways around the teachings of Jesus regarding salvation and deliverance. The “Law” to them was what God required of the people. The more they heard of the incredible miracles and in instances where teachings did not proclaim the existing laws as the “only voice of God”, the more discomfort they experienced.

As in the Gospel of Mark, when Jesus drove out the demons from the man from Gadarenes, the positive outcomes were such a shock to the religious leaders that they asked Jesus to leave their city. One may be excused for thinking that it was far more comfortable for the leaders and townspeople to accept the status quo at the time, even though it would have led to the destruction of those whom God loved without favour or preference.

So the Scriptures echo many occurrences of discomfort for those who would not accept the teachings of Jesus. One can only imagine the dismay when hearing the very simple words “Follow Me”. The discomfort that Jesus caused when He changed the lives of sinners, healed the sick, raised the dead and then called Himself “The Way, the Truth and the Life” was enough to eventually lead to Him being nailed to a cross.

Notwithstanding, even today we are obsessed with policies, rules, laws and boundaries in such a way that we experience much discomfort when these are challenged or questioned. 

To challenge what is not right, even though it may seem right to others, requires courage, especially in the midst of those who may be the very judges of one’s challenge. However, to live with the compromise of injustice and the comfort of sin, eats away at the soul and the heart from the inside. 

The choice is very simple: choose the “comfort” of unrighteousness or the discomfort of truth and righteousness now.

Prayer: Father, more than ever we need your grace. More than ever we understand that the judgement is not ours, but that You will require of us as stewards of the truth. May the comfort of sin in our lives cause us to bow before You so that the discomfort of the rebirth and confession of our guilt may become clearer.  Amen

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