Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Luke 7:24-30

Luke 7:24-30
And after sending the messengers of John away, He began to speak to the crowd regarding John.  “Upon what have you all gone out into the wilderness to look?  A reed being shaken by the wind?  Rather, what have you all gone out to see?  A man having been clothed in soft garments?  Behold!  The ones who rule in splendid and delicate clothing are in the king’s court.  Rather, what did you go out to see?  A prophet?  Yes, I say to you all, even over and above the prophet!  This is the one about whom it has been written, ‘Behold!  I send my messenger before your face.  He will prepare your way in your presence.’  I say to you that nobody born from women is a greater prophet than John.  Yet the smallest in the kingdom of God is greater than him.”  And all of the people who heard and the tax collectors, having been baptized in the baptism of John, declared God just.  But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God for their own counsel, after not being baptized by him.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Jesus actually gives John a big compliment here, although it seems a bit backhanded at first.  Jesus asks if the people expected to go out and see a reed shaken by the wind.  Jesus is asking them if they expected to see a weak individual whose opinion is easily swayed.  The reason that this is actually a compliment is because Jesus doesn’t even take the time to denounce His own suggestion.  Everyone knows that John had his own calling and stuck fervently to it.  This suggestion would be completely ridiculous to those who really know John.  The reason that this is such a neat point is because John had just sent messengers to Jesus looking for reassurance.  Jesus then turns to those who might have heard John’s disciples and wondered if John was wavering in his faith and declares to them that there is no reason to think that John is wavering at all.  Jesus is affirming John.  Jesus is telling us that even when we might doubt a little and need reassuring that He is still in our corner and there to support, defend, and uplift us.

How does it make you feel to realize that God is on our side even when we need reassurance?  From where does your support and reassurance come?

Second Thought:

Jesus then makes another really neat point.  John was known for wearing camel’s hair.  He was known for eating locusts.  He didn’t lead an easy life.  He didn’t lead a life of comfort. He led a difficult life.  If we are looking to live a life of luxury and ease, we aren’t likely to find it following the teachings of Jesus.  Jesus doesn’t call us to lead an easy life; He calls us to go about the work of the Lord in the kingdom.  That doesn’t mean we are called to suffering and torture.  But we are called to work and to be willing to embrace God’s ways and God’s priorities rather than the ways and priorities of the world.

Do you long for a life of luxury?  Do you look forward to days ahead when you can kick back, relax, and have nothing to do?  What does such a longing say about one’s priorities?

Third Thought:

Then Jesus gives John a huge compliment.  He not only calls John a prophet; He calls John even more than a prophet.  He says that nobody born of men are greater than John.  In other words, nobody has ever had a higher calling than John.  John literally paved the way for Jesus.  Who could have a higher calling than that?  But then Jesus reminds us of another very important fact.  Our work is in the kingdom.  It’s okay to be small, because even the smallest person in the kingdom is bigger than the most important person in this world!

Do you ever feel small?  How can this passage help in those moments when you feel small?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 7:31-35
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