28 But he said, “Happy rather are those who hear God’s word and put it into practice.”
Jesus is always quick with the comebacks. Today’s verse is actually Jesus’s quick rebuttal to what may have been intended as a compliment from a woman in a crowd. “Happy is the mother who gave birth to you and who nursed you.” She said. From the outside, her words seem like flattery – she’s hearing Jesus preach to a crowd, likes what she hears and is saying that Jesus’s mother must be proud. How nice!
Why does Jesus correct her then? Well, she’s made a number of assumptions actually – she’s assumed that Jesus has a good relationship with His mother and assumes His mother is still alive. She assumes that their happiness is directly linked. These do happen to have truth in them, but there’s nothing that indicates that she would know this. She tying happiness to very fragile, earthly things. Unfortunately, we do things like this often. We makes assumptions about people constantly, and we assume what must make them happy and what must make them unhappy.
Jesus, rather, is challenging us to not rely our happiness into the fragility of earthly life. There are times when we do the right thing and everything still goes wrong. There are times when we apologize to a person and aren’t forgiven by them. There are times when we are un-liked by people without any good reason. If we rather rely our happiness in hearing God’s Word, and doing our best to put that out into the world through our words and actions – then happiness will win out even when things are far from perfect.
By Rachel Callender
For Pondering & Prayer
Where does your happiness come from? What is God’s role in that happiness? Where could you grow?
Prayer: God of Joy, what you want more than anything is to offer us happiness. You have gifted us your love, grace, forgiveness and your Word. May we turn to you to be the source of our personal happiness. Amen.