Year C – Lent 3 | Isaiah 55:1-9; Psalm 63:1-8; 1 Corinthians 10:1-13; Luke 13:1-9
Prophets of old used symbolic language to highlight spiritual truths. Isaiah wanted to illustrated the difference between human intellect and the Lord’s thoughts; human methods and God’s ways. He used language that appealed to base instincts for survival. Isaiah challenged his audience to consider their needs are far deeper than buying food and drink.
Faced with a shortage of food and drink, the Psalmist teaches it is impossible for believers to flourish without being in fellowship with God. The physical body is totally committed to relationship with God. Eyes looking, lips praising, hands lifting, thoughts meditating; there is no true joy outside the protection of God’s wings. Our deepest needs are discovered when we cling to God.
The Corinthian text interprets the symbolism of Isaiah and the Psalms, using plain language to preach an uncomfortable message for post-truth ears. The rock in the wilderness quenching our thirst is none other than Jesus Christ. The manna from above is spiritual food. God’s covenant people received physical care from God yet dared to use their bodies in a way that displeased God. Our deepest needs are not physical – they are spiritual.
Jesus Christ challenges us to focus on our sin and not to worry about the sins of others. Our own actions in need of repentance demonstrate our deepest need to stay in relationship with God. Too many times people are quick to cut down people because they do not see sufficient fruit in their lives. The Great Gardener, however, understands a little digging around the tree—repenting of our sins in regular fellowship with God—combined with fertiliser such as scripture, prayer and fasting can yield fruit.
We are being challenged to live fruitful lives. Our deepest need is the abundant life and that is only possible by connecting your life with God.