“Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away”.
Mk 13:31 NIV
Many things are temporary. Fountain pens were! In the nineteenth century people got about either with a penny-farthing bicycle or a horse. Steam trains were invented in the early half of the nineteenth century. They are now museum pieces. And we do not know how long many of today’s handy gadgets or systems will last. We rely on them today, but they could be rendered obsolete in twenty years’ time, especially the petrol-driven motor car!
Things changed much more slowly in the days of the Bible. Yet Jesus could keep things in perspective. He had a great sense of the eternity of God. He knew his own mission on earth would have eternal significance. He knew too that his teaching was not time-bound. In centuries to come people would still be poring over his every word, his every sentence and even debating what he had been referring to way back in first-century Palestine. Unlike the wooden goods he made in the carpenter’s shop in Nazareth, his teaching would go on inspiring, teaching and guiding people for thousands of years down the line. And people would cherish them.
Some of his sayings have a timeless quality about them. We not only repeat them – we learn them. He said, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty” (Jn 6:35 NIV). He also said, “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth” (Matt 5:5 NIV). Many who cannot read or write, learn these and other sayings off by heart – and then live by them.
Lord, help us always to treasure your words.