First Things First

Bible Reading: Matthew 9:1-8
Author: Robert L. Stephens (Virginia, USA)
Saturday 30 November 2013 © The Upper Room.

Like many children, I tried to apply my own sense of order to my life.

What was wrong with having at least a taste of dessert before the meat and vegetables? Why couldn’t homework come after television time?

Fortunately, my mother found even my most compelling arguments less than convincing. Inevitably, her priorities won, and my life has been better as a result.

Jesus also attached great importance to priorities. Before addressing the paralytic’s physical maladies, Jesus attended to the man’s spiritual illness.

Only after healing the sickness of the spirit—‘your sins are forgiven’—did Jesus heal the man’s physical paralysis. In approaching the situation as he did, Jesus taught a valuable lesson.

Today, time once devoted to setting and attending to priorities is now spent mastering a different approach: multi-tasking. Tasks completed at the same time hardly need an assigned priority.

Yet Jesus chose to put spiritual well-being first. I can hear my mother giving a knowing laugh at that idea. ‘Like I always said, son, “First things first”.’

Prayer: Thank you, God, for loving reminders of what is important. Amen

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