God’s Grace and Good News

Grace in theology means, “the love and mercy given to us by God because God desires us to have it, not necessarily because of anything we have done to earn it”.(Source: Wikipedia) I remember a short story by Rev. Chakunni. It was titled, The “Saviour in Chains”. Two Christ believers were talking among themselves at the home of one of them. There was a picture of Jesus knocking at the door of the heart on the wall. Looking at the picture one of them said that the picture would have been better if it was the other way round. The other man did not understand what he meant and asked him to explain. The man replied, There are several people who have accepted Jesus into their hearts. But they have all locked Him inside their hearts and closed the doors. Our Saviour is knocking at the door from the inside because they do not proclaim Him as the Saviour publicly. They have hidden the LIGHT OF THE WORLD inside their hearts. Dear brothers and sisters ask yourselves, have you also closed Him inside your hearts???? Romas 10:13-15, 13 for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”14 How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15 And how can anyone preach unless they are sent? As it is written: “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!

Even though apostle Peter in the beginning disowned Jesus, He later proclaimed Him as Saviour when he was graced by the Holy Spirit. He spread the Good News renewed in strength and spirit. Acts 2:1-4,When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them. When the apostles were blessed by the Holy Spirit they began to speak in different languages.

Acts 2:613,When they heard this sound, a crowd came together in bewilderment, because each one heard their own language being spoken. Utterly amazed, they asked: “Aren’t all these who are speaking Galileans? Then how is it that each of us hears them in our native language? Parthians, Medes and Elamites; residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, 10 Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya near Cyrene; visitors from Rome 11 (both Jews and converts to Judaism); Cretans and Arabs—we hear them declaring the wonders of God in our own tongues!” 12 Amazed and perplexed, they asked one another, “What does this mean?”13 Some, however, made fun of them and said, “They have had too much wine.” But apostle Peter made them understand the Good News by his proclamation, Acts 2:30-31 30 Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.” 31 After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

Acts 2: 40-41, 40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.” 41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day. When people heard his words, 3000 people accepted Jesus into their lives and were transformed.

Apostle Peter performed many miracles and wonders in the name of Jesus, Acts 5:15-16, 15 As a result, people brought the sick into the streets and laid them on beds and mats so that at least Peter’s shadow might fall on some of them as he passed by. 16 Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by impure spirits, and all of them were healed.

What we read was about apostle Peter who was the head of all. Now let us talk about two ordinary women. At the time of Jesus, the Jews and Samaritans did not mingle among each other. One day, after a long long journey Jesus sat down near a well in a town in Samaria called Sychar The well was near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. There came a sinful woman to draw water from the well. It was noon. Our Lord asked her for some water to drink. In between the talk they had Jesus revealed her sinful life before her which was not known to anyone. She dropped the vessel she was carrying for water and ran to the town of Samaria. And then she proclaimed all that had happened at the well. In the end she ask, Can He be the Christ? John 4:28-30, 28 Then, leaving her water jar, the woman went back to the town and said to the people, 29 “Come, see a man who told me everything I ever did. Could this be the Messiah?” 30 They came out of the town and made their way toward him. Due to the witness of this woman the whole town believed in Jesus and accepted Him. John 4:39, 39 Many of the Samaritans from that town believed in him because of the woman’s testimony, “He told me everything I ever did.”  In this way a sinful woman became a witness for Christ our Saviour.

Dear children of God now let us think another way. Had the woman gone back home with the vessel of water and the blessings she received from Christ, would the people of Samaria have received salvation??? There were many sinners in the town, but only one woman received the grace and forgiveness of sin, and hence became a witness.

Second, we can see Mary Magdalene. Lord had driven out seven demons from her. On the Sabbath day after the crucifixion of Jesus, she went to the tomb to cover the body of Jesus with perfumed oil and spices as was the custom then. But the tomb was open and the body of Jesus was nowhere to be found. She sat down brokenhearted and wept bitterly lamenting for her Lord. The one who knows our every breath knew her pain. He appeared before her. John 20:15-18, 15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!” (which means “Teacher”). 17 Jesus said, “Do not hold on to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father. Go instead to my brothers and tell them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’” 18 Mary Magdalene went to the disciples with the news: “I have seen the Lord!” And she told them that he had said these things to her.

Jesus appeared for the first time after resurrection before Mary Magdalene. Mary too shared the Good News of resurrection with the disciples and she too became a witness for Christ. Here too, she could have kept the Good News for herself.

Dear children of God we too believe and proclaim that Jesus is our Saviour. But how many of us can stand as witness for Him like the two women. Think.

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