Pentecost Devotional (8 of 35) by Christopher Harbin

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Fifteenth Day after Pentecost:
Series: Pentecost Devotional
Christopher Harbin
Numbers 9:13-14

''But if any of you refuse to celebrate Passover when you are not away on a journey, you will no longer belong to my people. You will be punished because you did not offer sacrifices to me at the proper time. Anyone, including foreigners who live among you, can celebrate Passover, if they follow all the regulations.'' Numbers 9:13-14

Passover is an essential Jewish celebration of belonging. It was and is a celebration as essential to Jewish faith and identity as Easter is for Christians. Passover is more than simply a celebration, as it is a reenactment of the seminal event in the formation of the nation with its exit from bondage in Egypt.


Sixteenth Day after Pentecost:
Series: Pentecost Devotional
Christopher Harbin
Matthew 8:10

''When Jesus heard this, he was so surprised that he turned and said to the crowd following him, ''I tell you that in all of Israel I've never found anyone with this much faith!'' Matthew 8:10

Once again, we see Matthew highlighting faith among those beyond the limits of Israelite society. From the foreign ancestors of Jesus to the magi, to Jesus cast as a refugee, we now look upon a foreigner within Israel, an immigrant, whose expression of faith is greater than what Jesus had found within the bounds of Judaism. Faith and belonging to God had little to no link with being one of Abraham's descendants, contrary to standard Jewish thought.
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