Jochebed: The Mother of Moses

“The name of Amram’s wife was Jochebed, a descendant of Levi, who was born to the Levites in Egypt. To Amram she bore Aaron, Moses and their sister Miriam.” –Numbers 26:59

Moses and Jochebed by Pedro Américo, 1884 c/o Wikipedia

Jochebed is the mother of Moses (Exo 6:16-18; Num 26:59). She is an example of a great mother that we can see in the Bible.

She has a personal relationship with God.

She must have been born at the time when Jacob has migrated to Egypt because of the great plague in Israel. Jacob is her grandfather. Growing up in a Hebrew family, she has learned about the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. She has learned to love the Lord her God.

She placed her faith and trust in God

Her biggest problem is when the pharaoh has ordered the killing of Hebrew male infants to control the increase of the Hebrew population in fear that they could soon dominate the country.

Like any normal mother in distress, she has acted in faith. She has believed that God will save her son.

  • She made a basket for her newborn baby
  • She placed it near the Nile River
  • The pharaoh’s daughter found Moses
  • She became the nanny of her own baby and has taught him about God
  • In due time, she had to bring the child to the princess
  • Moses was educated like a noble Egyptian

The sequence of events reveals the mighty hand of God at work in her life and in Moses’ too.

She passed her faith on to her children

She has three children, Aaron, Miriam and Moses. Aaron has become the high priest for Israel and the spokesperson for Moses. Miriam is a poet, prophet and musician for the Lord and Moses, the man who talks with God face to face, a great leader of the Israel race.

How can a woman be like Jochebed?

Let the peace of God rule in her life when combating life’s troubles, in setting priorities and in seeking wise counsel. Trust that God answers prayers in miraculous ways. Learn and obey God’s word and hold on to faith because God will never fail anyone who believes. Always pray for your children.

Digested from a sermon by: Mrs. Rebecca Almazar, Choir Director, Lagro, United Methodist Church, May 8, 2011

The Faith of Thomas

Now Thomas (called Didymus), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe. “Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” –John 20:24-29

Thomas the Apostle

The Bible is silent as to Thomas’ whereabouts when Jesus has come to the apostles the first time. He is not there. Perhaps he has been mourning and wanted to be alone. Maybe he could not accept want has happened to the Lord so he wanted to be all by himself. He could have been asking himself what he is supposed to do next. He has missed the wonderful miracle of the resurrection that day because is absent.

When the other apostles have told him what they have seen, he would not want to believe. Perhaps he would not want to entertain false hopes and just wants to get over with the pain. Until after a week, the Lord has come to the apostles again and this time Thomas is with them.

The Lord has shown his hands and side to Thomas and He tells him to believe. When Thomas has touched the Lord’s hands and side he cried, “My Lord and my God!”

Sometimes in our pain and sufferings, we could not easily accept circumstances that happen in our lives. We twist in pain and we want to people to leave us alone. During these times of suffering, we can tell the Lord all our worries and doubts. We can open up to Him and tell Him what we want to happen, and He will surely meet our needs and respond to our terms.

The Lord has been patient with Thomas and has taken care of his faith like a child. The Lord has not answered him with indignation but with loving affection. He is the same with us.

The Lord loves us so much that He never leaves us in any circumstance. Sometimes, we miss his blessing and counsel every time we skip church services. Let us not miss getting together as a church in worshipping God.

Even if we have struggles and we could not understand what is happening to us, let us not give up. Let the power of Christ’s resurrection fill us and rekindle our faith.

Thomas has seen so he believed. May we be among those who are blessed to believe even though they have not seen the Lord’s hands and side.

Digested from a sermon by: Rev. Orlino Veron, Administrative Pastor, Lagro, United Methodist Church, May 1, 2011

Image Courtesy of: http://www.jesus-passion.com/Saint_Thomas_Apostle.htm

Raised To Meet Our Needs

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” -John 20:19 (NIV)

Jesus with His disciples after the resurrection

The apostles were afraid of the Jews because of what they had done to the Lord: they crucified Him. Perhaps they did not know what would happen to them. They were sore scared that they locked themselves behind closed doors especially that the Pharisees bribed the Roman soldiers to spread a false report that they stole the body of the Lord from the tomb.

Perhaps they were having a meeting about what they would do next or they were trying to comfort each other from the suffering and pain that the loss of their Master had brought to them.

At that point, Jesus came in and stood in the midst of them and said, “Peace be with you”, then the Lord showed his hands and side to them. Suddenly, their fear turned into joy when they saw the Lord alive.

The Lord spoke to them words that touched their deepest needs.

1. He gave them peace. “Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” (John 20:19) The apostles were afraid and depressed but the voice of the Lord, His living presence reassured them of His enduring love and that was enough to dissolve their sadness and fear.

2. He gave them a purpose. “As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” (John 20:21). The Lord Jesus sent them out to tell others about His resurrection and the teachings He left to them.

3. He gave them power. “And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” (John 20:22). He knew that they were weak even though their spirits were willing. He gave them empowerment through the Holy Spirit that would give them courage and boldness to carry out their purpose.

4. He gave the opportunity for forgiveness and the power to free people from their sin. “If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven” (John 20:23). He entrusted to the apostles the evangelistic task of reaching out to the world and preach the forgiveness of sins that people may repent and receive pardon from God.

Reflection

In our deepest fears, God comes to us to give us courage by His power and presence. Christ has risen to meet all our needs and you will experience the resurrection power of God as you begin to trust in Him totally.

We, too, are ambassadors of the Lord wherever we are. Whether in the workplace, in school, at home, in the streets or at any place, God calls each Christian to become a witness to the power of God that change lives.

The Lord empowers us too through the Holy Spirit who teaches and equips us with knowledge and strength to fulfill our purpose as His disciples.

We have the task to share the gospel of peace and forgiveness so that other people may also experience the grace and mercy that God has shown us.

Digested from a sermon by: Rev. Orlino Veron, Administrative Pastor, Lagro, United Methodist Church, May 1, 2011

Image Courtesy of: http://www.truthbook.com/