It’s amazing how even simple daily chores and tasks can be so very different day-by-day when we are connected to other people. Our lives can have set schedules and predefined plans, but once you add in the “other person” factor, everything we plan and do suddenly changes. Our “set schedule” suddenly becomes a possible plan or a good idea or a guarantee of what WON’T happen. This is the case while Jesus is ministering as well.
Jesus ministers to a leaper, and all is normal… or as normal as they can be when you heal a leaper with a touch. Then along comes a Centurion, a solider, many of whom dislike and mistreat the Jewish people. Only this one is asking Jesus for help. Not only does Jesus help him, but Jesus then turns around and says that He has not seen such faith in all of Israel! Next we see people desiring to be His disciples, but then Jesus pushes them away. What kind of teacher doesn’t want students?
After a long day, Jesus and His disciples head out in a boat and cross the sea. Suddenly a tempest strikes and it looks like they will all drown. When His disciples wake Him to help with the boat, He rebukes them. Then He rebukes the storm and it immediately stops!
They all reach the other side only to run into a pair of men who are demon possessed and who have been driving people out of the region. They free them from the demons only to be driven out of the region by the rest of the people BECAUSE they freed these men from being held captive by demons! (I have my own theories as to why they kicked them out, but i’m not going to say them here and now.)
When you minister day by day directly with people, these are the kinds of unusual days and situations you are going to run into. If you are in the ministry, and your schedule is well defined and set. If you don’t have days where your plans and schedule are messed up by people, then i would wonder if you you are “ministering”, or if you are “doing the ministry”. If you are doing the ministry I would challenge you to consider what your call and purpose is.
Jesus did not sit in an office all day. He was hands on, and if we are to be like Him, we need to reconsider what it means to “minister” to the flock.
Rev. John J. Camiolo Jr.
I have been waiting for this chapter. I knew that it was coming, and to some extent i have been dreading it. After everything that has happened. After all of the preparing and anointing and consecrating, the time comes for Aaron’s grown sons to step up and do their part, and what happens? Immediately they mess it up. It’s not even like they just forgot something. It’s that they knew what they were supposed to do and purposely did the wrong thing.
We don’t know what they were thinking. We don’t know their plans, or their purpose, or their intent. All we know is what happened, and the response of YHWH God to their clear violation of his law. They “offered strange fire before the LORD (YHWH)“. Strong’s concordance describes this word “strange” as;
זוּר – zûr (zoor)
A primitive root; to turn aside (especially for lodging); hence to be a foreigner, strange, profane; specifically (active participle) to commit adultery: – (come from) another (man, place), fanner, go away, (e-) strange (-r, thing, woman).
So the word “strange” here is defined under the context of foreign (not natural), profane, and adulterous. So we aren’t just talking about mixing up the spices differently than they were supposed to. We are referring to a completely inappropriate and sinful offering given to YHWH, the one HOLY God.
Here are the priests, the ones who are to stand before YHWH and represent the people. They are to be coming into God’s presence holy, bringing a holy sacrifice to cover the people and their sins, and what do they do on one of the first days of their job? They offer a profane and adulterous offering to YHWH! They insult YHWH and basically do their best to slap Him in the face. YHWH’s response? Fire comes out from His presence and consumes them! They are destroyed on the spot.
When those who are supposed to be standing before the LORD and ministering to YHWH and the people are purposely rejecting and disobeying Him, what does it say about Him, and what does it mean for them? Those who are leaders and ministers need to take His work seriously. If we don’t, what will His response be to us. Those who are leaders are held to a higher standard, but we also have the potential for a greater reward. However, we MUST pursue the holiness of the LORD.
John Camiolo Jr.