Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Luke 7:18-23

Luke 7:18-23
And his disciples (John’s disciples) spoke to John regarding all of these things.  And after calling two who were his disciples, John sent them to the Lord while saying, “Are you the one who comes or do we look for another?”  And after coming to Him the men said, “John the Baptizer has sent us to you while saying, ‘Are you the one who comes or do we look for another?’” In that hour, He healed many from disease, plague, and evil spirits and he gave the ability to see to many blind people.  And answering, He said to them, “After departing, speak to John about what you saw and heard: that the blind regain their sight, the lame walk around, the lepers are being cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are being raised, the poor are being told about the Good News.  And blessed is the one who should not be offended in me.”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

I always pause when I get to this section regardless of the Gospel story that I am reading.  Remember the story of the Elizabeth’s baby leaping in the womb when Mary comes to visit Elizabeth?  Where has that enthusiasm gone?  Certainly John wouldn’t be bothered by the fact that the religious leaders didn’t like Jesus, they didn’t like him either!  I need to remind myself that this is thirty full years later.  Time has a way of mellowing emotion.  Time has a way of robbing enthusiasm.  John’s had a hard ministry.  He could use a little encouragement.  From prison, he could stand to have a little reassurance.  I don’t think that this is evidence of John’s doubt.  I think this passage is evidence of his weariness.

Are you ever wearied in ministry?  Do you think weariness in ministry is a natural thing?

Second Thought:

Jesus turns the disciples of John to their own experience.  They’ve seen all of these incredible things, even recently!  They don’t need to trust Jesus’ words; they can trust their own eyes and ears.  They have no reason to doubt.  They have no reason to continue to be wearied.  They can see God’s amazing power at work around them.

Where do you see God’s power at work around you?  Are you skilled at recognizing God’s power?

Third Thought:

Once more we hear Jesus speak about offense.  If you read the Bible – especially the Gospels – with any seriousness, you will pick up on a pattern.  Jesus did things that offended people.  Jesus taught truth, not what people wanted to hear.  Jesus did the work of the Lord, even on the Sabbath!  Jesus sat down with tax collectors.  Jesus protected the lives of sinners such as the adulteress.  Jesus went to Samaritan’s and even Gentile’s homes and talked with them – even doing miracles among them.  Jesus didn’t live up to the expectations of the people around Him.  People were offended by His methods because He was doing something new.  He was after the approval of the Father, not the approval of mankind.  Because of this, Jesus comes clean and says that those who can see Him at work and hear Him teach and who are not offended are blessed.  Many were offended by Him.  The ones who weren’t were blessed.

Have you ever been offended by Jesus’ unusual methods?  Have you ever been challenged by His truth?  What’s the difference between how we react to challenge and how we react to offense?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 7:24-30
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