“My brothers, you descendants of Abraham’s family, and others who fear God, to us the message of this salvation has been sent. Because the residents of Jerusalem and their leaders did not recognize him or understand the words of the prophets that are read every sabbath, they fulfilled those words by condemning him. Even though they found no cause for a sentence of death, they asked Pilate to have him killed. When they had carried out everything that was written about him, they took him down from the tree and laid him in a tomb. But God raised him from the dead; and for many days he appeared to those who came up with him from Galilee to Jerusalem, and they are now his witnesses to the people.And we bring you the good news that what God promised to our ancestors he has fulfilled for us, their children, by raising Jesus; as also it is written in the second psalm, ‘You are my Son; today I have begotten you.’
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
Today’s reading continues the litany of sermons Paul is giving as he travels from place to place. In Antioch he points out something very true: the people of Jerusalem failed to recognize Jesus as the Messiah. And in condemning him, the religious leaders fulfilled the prophecies told in their scriptures—scriptures that were proclaimed every week in their temple! They were blind to what the prophets warned about. And Paul, who is sharing this sermon, is one of them, a former Pharisee whose persecution of the Jesus movement was blinded. Yet the grace of God opened his eyes to the Truth.
Many of us read scripture regularly, yet we can find ourselves blind to them at times. We can easily ignore Jesus’ words and teaching in our daily life. Let’s not fall into the trap of the Pharisees. Let’s allow the Word to become part of our very being, and heed their wisdom.
Jesus, I believe you are the Messiah. Teach me to live and breathe your Word, to make it part of my being. Do not let me be blinded. Open my eyes to your Truth and help me to live it daily. Amen.