Jeremiah

Steve Arterburn

Jeremiah was called into the prophetic ministry when he was young man.  Humble and eager to serve God, he became a man of prayer and deep spirituality–a man who faced his trials with courage.

During his forty years of ministry, Jeremiah would suffer intense persecution.  He was thrown into a dungeon, beaten, put in stocks, and threatened.  Tradition teaches that he was stoned to death.  Despite the opposition he faced, however, he remained true to the messages God gave him.  He confronted the Jews with their rebellion and called them to confess their sins, accept responsibility, and ask God for forgiveness.  As God directed him, he also spoke words of comfort to a people facing disaster.

Jeremiah was also a man of great compassion.  He openly expressed his grief over the sinfulness of his people.  In fact, he’s known as the weeping prophet.  He shed many tears for the sin of his people and the destructive consequences he knew they’d face.  After Jerusalem was destroyed and the people were exiled, Jeremiah wrote the book Lamentations to express his sorrow over the pain and loss of his people.  There were times when Jeremiah openly and honestly complained to God about the work God had given him.  Yet even in the midst of his sadness, Jeremiah never lost faith in God’s power to judge righteously, to reward liberally, and to restore his broken people.

A Family Blessing

When Jesus began His public ministry at about thirty years of age, He left the security of home for the uncertainties of life on the road. But during His travels, there was one place he loved to visit: that little house in the village of Bethany where His friends Martha, Mary, and Lazarus lived. The three were siblings, and we learn how close Jesus was to them when Lazarus died.

The sisters sent a message to Jesus that Lazarus was sick; but by the time Jesus arrived, Lazarus was dead, and they were mourning his death. Martha and Mary rushed out to meet Jesus and expressed their frustration that He hadn’t come earlier.

The Bible tells us that when Jesus saw how sad the sisters and other mourners were, that ‘He was moved with indignation and was deeply troubled.’ He was indignant because He, Jesus, who created life, was dealing with death—a stark contradiction of everything that He is and stands for. Jesus was saddened by Mary and Martha’s grief, and by Lazarus’ suffering. Jesus wept openly for His friend, prompting onlookers to say, ‘See how much he loved him.’

Are you grieving the loss of someone you love? We would consider it our great privilege to share the love and wisdom of Christ with  you. Please prayerfully consider joining us at our next New Life Weekend.

Steve Arterburn