Dear Student of the Word,
I am in Guyana and have limited access to the Internet, so this will have to be quick. Here is the next installment of our study from Luke. In this entry we look at the beginning of Jesus' public ministry from Luke's point of view. Here is what I wrote in part three of this seven-part study, which can be found in its entirety at the end of this post:
Study Eight, Part Three
38 Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon's mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. 39 So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them. 40 When the sun was setting, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. 41 Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, "You are the Son of God!" But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Christ.
4:38&39 – Much has been made of the fact that Simon’s mother-in-law got up to serve Jesus after she was healed. Her healing was immediate and that is why it is so remarkable that she got up to work right away. I would put the emphasis on Jesus having to leave the synagogue to go do good deeds.Most of the miracles that Jesus performed were outside the walls of the place of worship. The modern church usdually wants people to come to the church before the church will even consider helping them. Jesus took His ministry to the people and consequently the people came looking for Him. I think we have our approach to ministry backward today. Do you agree or not?
4:40 – You see, once Jesus healed this woman, it opened the floodgates and people came to Him from all over. One of the questions I ask people who are searching for their purpose is: What situation, group of people or problem always seeks you out? What comes looking for you? My purpose is to create order out of chaos. I never have to go looking for chaos; it comes looking for me. What or who comes finds you no matter where you are?
Jesus laid His hands on people. People want to touch you; they don’t always want to see you on a video screen or from a distance. I make a conscious effort to touch people, not only when I am praying for them, but even when I meet them or I am talking with them. I don’t understand the power that’s in touching, but I know it’s there. Touching, however, isn’t something I’m always comfortable doing. If it’s important to others or if there is some spiritual transaction when I touch, then I want to do it. Who do you need to touch today?
4:41 – The demons knew Jesus was the Christ, but the Pharisees and leaders of Israel did not. That always amuses me that the kingdom of darkness had more spiritual insight than the covenant community of Israel.
It occurs to me that Jesus did very little to clear up the confusion that surrounded His life and identify. When people asked Him, “Who are you?” he would respond, “Who do you think I am?” He never cleared up the confusion about His birth or His ministry. In fact He seemed to go out of His way to confuse people even more! Why? I think because people had to see who He was through a revelation from the Father. They could not determine He was the Christ through the miracles or by intellectual assent. It had to be the way Peter saw who Jesus was:
Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God." Jesus replied, "Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ (Matthew 16:16-20 emphasis added).
Are you trying to “figure God out?” If you are, you can stop. You don’t need to be smarter where the things of God are concerned; you need to hear from the Father. And that comes through humility and seeking, not through study and intelligence.
As always, I welcome your comments to this week's study. For additional Bible studies, check out my website archive, which contains a complete collection of all my verse-by-verse New Testament studies, along with the daily devotional entitled What Would Jesus Ask You Today? Thank you and I hope you continue to enjoy this study of Luke's gospel from God's word.
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