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News and views from the German-language region of Europe

January 29, 2016

Bearing with one another

Filed under Sabbath Thoughts

In his epistles the apostle Paul exhorted Christians to be tolerant of one another in their fellowship.

We find one example of his exhortation in Colossians 3, verses 12-13: "Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do!"

Paul mentionss two things in one context: bearing with one another and forgiving one another. It goes without saying that bearing with one another and forgiving each other are closely related. We know that God forgives us and in so doing gives us an example that we are to follow. We should forgive one another.

Have you ever thought about the fact that God also "bears with us"? In so doing, He gives us another example we are to emulate: We shoulöd bear with one another.

This life serves to prepare us for the kingdom of God. We are being trained for the responsibility we will have in the world tomorrow as kings and priests (Revelation 5:10).

Jesus' apostles were also trained for the responsibility they had in the early church. Jesus had to be patient with them – He had to "bear with them". They didn't understand everything He said, as was the case when He explained that eating without washing the hands did not make a person unclean. "When He had entered a house away from the crowd, His disciples asked Him concerning the parable. So He said to them, Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him?" (Mark 7:17-18).

When Jesus warned His disciples about the teachings (the leaven) of the Pharisees, they thought He was talking about bread. "But Jesus, being aware of it, said to them, Why do you reason because you have no bread? Do you not yet perceive nor understand? Is your heart still hardened? Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear?" (Mark 8:17-18).

Prior to Jesus' resurrection His disciples did not comprehend the things He told them about His death and resurrection.

As Jesus did then, God must sometimes be surprised today at our lack of understanding. Thankfully, He is patient with us – He "bears with us", as we are to bear with one another.

With these thoughts I wish everyone a rewarding Sabbath!

Paul Kieffer's blog with personal insights and news from the German-language region in Europe.


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