From about age 9 until my early teen years I remember looking forward to camping in the woods of New England with my church's youth group. We would pack our provisions and drive several hours to set up our camp with the basics - shelter, food, and fire. We learned essential wilderness survival skills, knots, safe food storage, and water purification. The older ones taught the younger ones, and everyone learned and grew together. We were far from the comforts of running water, furnaces, air conditioning, and home cooking. We were in the wilderness.
Yet all of us knew that in just a few days we would be back in our comfortable beds with an easily accessible refrigerator and microwave oven. In other words, we knew that our setup at camp was just transient and temporary. We did not use brick and mortar to build our shelters, we patched holes in our tents and tarps with duct tape. We did not construct the fire pit to last for years of harsh winters. We did not bring enough food and water for more than a week. Though we were extremely grateful that we had protection from the rain, food for our bellies, and soap to clean our hands, we did not seek to overhaul our camp into our permanent home. As we camped, we let our small "delicacies" remind us of home cooking. We let our lawn chair remind us of our dad's plush lounge chair and blanket back home. Even just a day or two into our trip, we would all be longing for the comforts of home again.
Have your words or actions ever been misconstrued? Have you ever felt the pain of rejection from close friends or family? Though sin and the curse have made these things a common human experience, God Himself has felt the pain of misunderstanding.
Throughout Jesus' life and ministry, there were several groups of people who interacted frequently with Him:
His own family (His mother Mary, His four brothers and His sisters) - Matthew 13:55-56
The women who attended to Him and cared for His needs (Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Susanna) - Luke 8:2-3
His disciples (the "three" - Peter, James, and John and the rest of the Twelve, plus the larger group that followed Him around) - Luke 16:14-16
The Pharisees (the gospels often reference those from Jerusalem) - Matthew 9:11, Matthew 12:14, Matthew 15:1, Matthew 19:3, and many passages
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