Praise Jesus. Greetings to my viewers for once again joining us for Roz ki Roti. Thank you to Glory platform for bringing us together so that we can learn from the holy texts. So let’s start with a prayer.
My beautiful Lord, Jesus, my spiritual father, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for providing us this opportunity that we take your name and hear your teachings. We ask for your blessings from your infinite treasures. Give us wisdom to learn and bring its fruits to our lives. May everyone receive blessings and peace from you. Amen.
In our last program and today we are learning about characters in the Bible. They are all a source of guidance for us. In the previous episode we looked at the male characters like the prophets and apostles. But until we learn about the female characters of the Bible, this topic remains incomplete. Because women bring love, humbleness and loyalty in these stories and we can learn to bring these qualities into our own lives as well. We find in both the Old Testament as well as New Testament that among the apostles of Jesus there were many women as well. They contributed to the cause in significant ways. When we enter into Christianity we are not Jews or Greeks or slave or free or man or woman. The words of God do not depend on whether you are a man or woman. The commandments of God as equal for all and its everyone’s duty to spread the word of God around the world. The texts also tell us that women also served God with Jesus when he was in this world. In the New Testament when we read the women who were followers of God, the first name that comes to mind is Hannah, she was a woman and infertile. But she did not despair and asked God for help. She was rewarded with a son. She had promised God that if he gave her a son, then she will dedicate her son to God. When Samul was 4 years old his mother handed him over to Ellie. Samuel was her first born but she still fulfilled her promise. We should also bring this change in our lives that when we promise something to God we should fulfill that promise and stay loyal to God.
Another famous character from the book of Ruth, a Muabi girl who promised her mother in law , an Israelite, that, don’t hope that I will leave you and leave you half way because wherever you go I’ll go and where you live I’ll live. You people are my people and your God wil be my God. Where you die I will die with you and will be buried there. Ruth was a very loving and loyal woman who was very humble. She loved her mother in law. She was a Moabi and they were disallowed from entering Israel but she left her God and people and came to Israel with her mother in law. She married a man from the tribe of Naomi and we learn how she describes for us how us gentiles should be. We learn from Ruth that we should walk with God and leave everything of our own and be obedient followers of Jesus.
Another character is Aster, who was a Jewish girl but we learn bravery from her. She did not hesitate to give her life for God. She had faith in God and knew that if she fought for her country God would be at her side. So when she told her people to keep a fast for 3 days then God will listen to you, that’s exactly what happened and God listened to their prayers. She stood against a king and embraced death for her beliefs.
In the New Testament the biggest female character we find is that of Mother Mary. How she was loyal to God as was a humble servant to him. To fufill the promise that God made to humanity he chose her. So when Gabriel came to Mary and told her that she had been chose, she replied that I’m a servant of God. According to Luke Chapter 1 verse 38 she surrendered herself to God for his purposes. She is a very humble character and we should also surrender ourselves infront of God like her.
Another character is Elizabeth, who was Mother Mary’s cousin. We see that when Gabriel went to Zakariah to tell him that he would become a father, he was so old that he couldn’t believe it. Since he didn’t believe God’s promise he became deaf and mute until Joseph was born. But Elizabeth believed in Gabriel and accepted the message from God. What we learn from Elizabeth is to never doubt the promises of God.
Mary of Magdalene also walked the path of God. When Jesus was crucified she was still there to support him. We also see that when Jesus was resurrected, she was the first to witness it. Jesus talked to her and told her to go tell his disciples that he has returned. Mary and Martha both sisters were both devout. When they went to the tend to Jesus after his crucifixion they rubbed his feet with perfume and cleaned them with their own hair. Such was their devotion and we should look inwards to gauge if we are as devoted to Jesus or not.
We have looked into the main characters from the Bible but there are so many minor characters that we can learn a lot from. In Lucas chapter 16 verse 11 regarding the 10 lepers. They came to Jesus and were healed. But out of those which ones returned to God, only one. He was asked were you the only one cured? Were the rest not cured? The message I got from this is that of gratefulness to God for his boundless blessings. We should ask ourselves, are we grateful enough to God for all he has given us? When our prayers are answered we should thank God.
Another beautiful thing I learned is the woman who was bleeding for 12 years. In Lucas 8th chapter verse 43, we find a referece to this. She was bleeding for 12 years and believed that even if she grabbed the tunic of Jesus she would be cured. Her strong belief is an inspiration for us. Do we have such strong belief?
Zakai was short and wanted to see Jesus and reach him. He climbed onto trees just so he could see Jesus. Similarly, in our lives there are many hurdles that prevent us from reaching Jesus. But like Zakai, we should also try our best to overcome those hurdles to get close to Jesus.
Another character was a Roman soldier whose servant was sick. In Lucas 7th chapter verse 2 states that he went to Jesus and asked that I’m not pious enough to come to your house, but I believe even if you utter a prayer for him he will get cured. And Jesus was surprised and said that he hasn’t said such strong belief even in the Israelites. We should hope to have a belief as strong as that. Wherever we are we should ask for God’s help and he will answer us – our belief in this should be as strong as that Roman.
In Lucas 21st chapter verse 1-4 we hear of a bankrupt widow who had just 2 cents. She came and donated them in the path of God. We learn that all the disciples of Jesus scarified all they owned whether they were men or women. We should learn from the bankrupt widow and donate our own assets in the path of God.
Another 2 characters are Youssef of Matia, who donated his expensive grave site for burying Jesus. The dacoit next to Jesus on the crucifix among others asked Jesus if he was the son of God then why doesn’t he save himself and help the others get down from there? But the dacoit said, don’t you know that were are being punished for the wrongs we’ve done but Jesus is innocent and he made a humble request that when you return to the Kingdom of God he should remember him. Like him we should repent our sins and return to God.
We all have time to accept Jesus as our savior as the end of times are near. We should repent our sins. So let’s learn from the stories of these characters in the Bible and hope that they change our hearts and those who listen to this. Amen.