A remarkable story of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. Rather than worship an idol set up by King Nebuchadnezzar they chose death. They even admitted that they did not know if their God would save them. That was of no matter to them. What mattered is that their God had a commandment that you do not worship false gods. And they were going to trust in their God.
The furnace was heated seven times hotter than normal. It is not in our reading today but go back and read the entire story and you will discover that the men who threw Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego into the furnace were consumed by the fire. What a strong faith. What strong faith. Such a great example for all of us.
We need that example because the gospel challenges us who believe in Jesus. Jesus is speaking to the Jews who believe in Him. But they were not free. They wanted to hang on to old traditions. And from these old traditions they considered themselves superior to others coming to Jesus.
Jesus is explaining it does not matter who you are. If you believe then we must accept all people coming to Jesus. Keeping anything that makes us superior to others makes us slaves to past idols. Jesus is who sets us free to be sons and daughters of God.
May the Lord bless you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen