Today the U.S. is the world’s top economic power, but in 1788 our new nation was in massive debt, struggling to take its first steps. In April, 12 years after declaring our independence, the first electors unanimously voted in George Washington as our first president, and he chose men he knew well and men he trusted to serve in the first cabinet. Thomas Jefferson became Secretary of State, Henry Knox, Secretary of War, and John Adams became the first Vice President. Who would Washington choose to lay the foundation for the new nation’s economy?
In October of 1772 when a teenage orphan arrived in New York City from the Caribbean, no one would have bet that this illegitimate son of an adulteress would become our first Secretary of the Treasury. But Alexander Hamilton was in Washington’s inner circle during the War as his trusted aid. Washington treated him as a son and blessed him. He was chosen to be our first Secretary of the Treasury, and the rest is history.
When the high priests looked for an accusation that would stick with the Roman governor, they chose Jesus’ claim that they would see Him sitting at His Father’s right hand as ruler and king. Jesus’ enemies mocked His claim and crucified Him. In the concluding scene of the Gospel of Luke Jesus, now resurrected from the dead, raised His hands and blessed His disciples. His blessing is infinitely more powerful than even Washington’s blessing as the father of our country.
“And He led them out to the area of Bethany (this is near the top of the Mt. of Olives and the village where the Triumphal Entry began). Jesus raised His hands, and blessed them. While He was blessing them, He departed from them and was carried into heaven. Then the disciples worshiped Him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they stayed continually at the temple praising God.” Acts 24:50-53
As this group hiked down the Mount of Olives to go and worship in the temple in Jerusalem, few watching would have guessed that these followers of Jesus would lay the foundation for the most powerful spiritual movement in history. In 2017 the Jesus movement is now more than two billion strong. Jesus, the crucified and risen Savior is still at God’s right hand, and He is still raising His hands in blessing over all of us who believe.
LORD, when I’m rejected or ignored by others, especially those I’m trying to teach about You, it can sink me in depression. Help me to allow Your blessing to pour strength into my life today. Help me to trust that it is Your Word of grace, not my ability, skill, or hard work that opens hearts. Thanks for the blessing even more powerful than George Washington’s.
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