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After working for fourteen years in order to mary Rachel, Jacob continued to work for another six years before deciding it was time to leave his uncle. He had done considerably more than had originally been expected of him

Three days after leaving with his wives, his servants and all his other possessions, his uncle heard the news and set out after Jacob. Then God appeared to Laban in a dream and warned him not to harm Jacob. When they met, they made a covenant together not to harm one another.

God had seen all that Jacob had done, and the fact that he had gone the extra mile or more and therefore protected him. Jesus preached that his Father knew all that was done and that nothing happened without his knowledge. He also told his followers that he did not come to bring peace to the world. Indeed, anyone who chose to take up his cross and follow the Lord would find conflict and disagreement, even among their own families.

This occurred in Jesus’ own time – his cousin John the Baptist was imprisoned and later executed having preached repentance, offered water baptism and pointing out that Jesus was the Messiah.

We too must go the extra mile to bring Jesus into the lives of those who have not heard him. There may be times when we do feel the presence of God in our lives even when we are carrying out this mission. But we must not worry. We should trust in his unfailing love for us and rejoice especially when we are criticised or scoffed for taking the Good News out to the world, using whatever gifts we have received.

Scripture: Genesis 31:17-32:12; Matthew 10:24-11:6; Psalm 13:1-6; Proverbs 3:16-18