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The Spirit of Grace

One of my favorite professors in college was Dr. Goldman, a rabbi who liked to bait me in class. During one session I determined not to say anything for the whole period. Finally, I couldn’t resist. “What took you so long?” Dr. Goldman said with a smile. “I’ve been trying to get you to talk the whole hour.” I tried to share my faith in Christ with my professor, but he was happy with his own beliefs. What does it take to lead a Jewish person to Jesus? In one respect, it takes the same thing that is necessary for everyone who believes. It takes a miracle.

Today’s text depicts the climax of the long path traveled by God’s chosen people. Zechariah writes of the second coming of Christ and of Israel’s recognition of Him as their long-awaited Messiah. The turning point that leads to this recognition will be a work of God. The Lord will “ pour out on the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem a spirit of grace and supplication” (v. 10). This will happen at a particular moment in time. It is the moment when they see their Messiah and recognize that He is “the one they have pierced.” The sight of Christ’s wounds will spark an outpouring of grief that is both deep and personal. Zechariah describes a moment of collective repentance that includes everyone (v. 12).

The moment Zechariah depicts is the culmination of the work of God that Paul describes in Romans 9–11. It will reach its peak when Christ comes again, but it was already going on in the apostle’s day and continues to this day (Rom. 11:1–2). What Paul said of his age is still true: “So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace” (Rom. 11:5).

Apply the Word

Whether you are a Jew or a Gentile, the path to God is the same—Jesus Christ. If you have been praying for someone to come to know Christ as Savior, ask God to give them “a spirit of grace and supplication.” Pray today for an opportunity to talk with them about Jesus.

Pray with Us

Ken Heulitt, chief financial officer at Moody, extends our gratitude to MBI’s friends for your faith and confidence in Moody’s mission and for your financial support this past fiscal year. Thank you for your generosity. Let’s pray for another successful year!

BY Dr. John Koessler, Chair and Professor of Pastoral Studies

Dr. John Koessler serves as chair and professor in the division of applied theology and church ministry at the Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, Illinois. He is married to Jane and has two sons, Drew and Jarred. John is the author of The Radical Pursuit of Rest (InterVarsity), The Surprising Grace of Disappointment (Moody) and True Discipleship (Moody). John has written several other books and articles and serves as a contributing editor for Today in the Word.

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