Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Carpenter’s Son: Discerning God’s Gift

 

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Matthew 13:55 (KJV) Is not this the carpenter’s son? Is not his mother called Mary? And his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?

Abayomi’s favorite football team was playing again tonight. He had barely refreshed from work before he rushed off to Mr. Alabi’s, to watch the match. Abayomi’s cable TV subscription did not broadcast some high-profile football matches, and so for that Mr. Alabi, his neighbor, was his plug, and he was ever so welcoming, even offering drinks and snacks while they watched the match, providing amateur commentary and sometimes throwing football banter at each other when the other’s favorite team lost or performed badly.

So, when Abayomi went with his boss to meet a tech consultant who came highly recommended to help them sort out a glitch in one of their company’s software, it was with great surprise that he saw that the said consultant was Mr. Alabi. The same football watching, banter-trading, neighbor Mr. Alabi? Abayomi berated himself for not making efforts to know his neighbor a little bit more, perhaps, maybe he would have been able to benefit from the wealth of wisdom and experience of Mr. Alabi as Abayomi himself was an early career software engineer.

From that moment henceforth, his relationship with Mr. Alabi changed. Because even though Mr. Alabi did not change, his perception and appreciation for his person was not the same and that changed his relationship, for good, with Mr. Alabi. He was no longer just a neighbor to him, he had become a well-respected senior specialist.

We sometimes do ourselves a great disservice when we fail to learn how to discern God’s gift. Understanding is critical here.

This discernment must be built first on the understanding that God deposits treasures in ‘earthen vessels’ or “jars of clay” (See 2 Corinthians 4:7 NET). God pours out his grace on men. Not just superhuman men, but men with ordinary antecedents, physiology, and anatomy. However, this must not serve as a hindrance for us to discern and therefore esteem God’s gifts.

Ephesians 4 speaks about the gifts of God in the form of men who he gave as Apostles, Prophets, etcetera. These men will have normal natural experiences of birth, pain, nutrition, gaffs, joys. They are men just like us as Apostle James said speaking about Elijah (See James 5:17). And that fact by no means invalidates the reality of who they are beyond the mundane details of their frail humanity.

We must learn to look beyond the carpenter’s son and see the One who has the words of eternal life. This was what set Peter (and the 12) from most in Jesus’ hometown.

Go into today with a discerning heart that is able to receive a Prophet in the name of the Prophet and not just as a community member.
—Abraham Damilola Arigi

Yearly Bible Reading: Acts 25-26 (In Devotional Audio)
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