“We will give it back,” they said. “And we will not demand anything more from them. We will do as you say.” Nehemiah 5:12
The rebuild is almost done. Nehemiah’s leading the people to restore the reputation of both Jerusalem and God. The people throw themselves into the task to the point where they aren’t working their regular jobs. They end up having to borrow money to feed their families. The problem is that the nobles loaning money and food exploit the people. The relationship between the people and the nobles ends up completely broken. Nehemiah confronts the nobles and calls them to change. The nobles take Nehemiah’s words to heart and change. The conflict is resolved.
Resolving conflicts and broken relationships is something Jesus cares about, too. In what scholars view as his core teaching, Jesus tells his listeners that reconciliation is more important than even sacrificing (Matthew 5:23-24). Jesus has a heart for mended relationships. It’s central to the gospel. Jesus came to mend relationships through his work on the cross.
Jesus’s death and resurrection offer us a way to fix our relationship with God. A follower of Jesus who comprehends the nature of the crucifixion and Jesus’s sacrifice for them becomes a person who forgives and reconciles. We model God’s love for us every time we mend a relationship. We show the love of Jesus to a broken world through how we treat others and mend broken relationships.
IN YOUR CHAIR TIME TODAY
Identify a relationship that you need to take a step toward repairing. What’s a way you can begin to mend that relationship? If you’re unsure how to begin, consider talking with a mature Christian friend or contacting your campus pastor.
2023 SPIRITUAL PRACTICES
Join us all of 2023 developing a different spiritual practice each month. SPIRITUAL PRACTICES are intentional regular activities to deepen our relationship with God and mold us to be more like Jesus.
November is BIBLE MEDITATION. Keep track of our spiritual practices at beyondtheweekend.org/spiritualpractices.
Download a printable PDF of the BTW week here.