January 28 – Chronological Life of Jesus Day 20
Today, and even this year to date, has been rough for my little ones. I remember going through a similar time last summer. Maybe you can relate to those seasons of grumpiness and fit-throwing? It feels like I’m walking through a field of chewed up taffy each day with how hard it is to accomplish even simple tasks like eating lunch or getting dressed. At the same time, God’s got me in a season of learning to give control to Him. In today’s reading we see example after example of Jesus’ laser eyes focusing in on one person and showing that one person how much He loves him or her despite the current season of life.
READ: Luke 7
Verses 11-17 tell about Jesus seeing the grief of a widow who also just lost her only son—“…his heart went out to her.” And in an awesome show of love and compassion, he performed his biggest miracle yet for a public audience; he brought the woman’s son back to life. He wiped away her tears. He knows our struggles, He sees our pain, and His desire is to help us through it. Maybe His help is not through an incredible miracle that suddenly fixes it all like in these verses, but more often His help is through baby steps of letting go of control and depending on Him more and more. In this case, a crowd was there as witness to it all. Verse 16 shows their reaction to this miracle: “They were all filled with awe and praised God. ‘A great prophet has appeared among us,’ they said. ‘God has come to help His people.’” Most of the crowd’s sentiments are right and good, but he’s not just a prophet—Jesus is the Son of God! There’s still work to be done so that they will believe!
In verses 18-35, John the Baptist sends his disciples to ask Jesus if he really is the promised Messiah. Really? It was just 1.5 years before this that John the Baptist saw a dove come down and heard a voice from heaven and then testified that Jesus is the Son of God (John 1:34). I’m totally baffled why John the Baptist is now doubting Jesus. Some research helped me with this one. At this time, John the Baptist was in prison. He only heard reports about Jesus through his friends, some of whose hearts were hard and were jealous of Jesus for gaining a bigger following than John the Baptist. Those were the friends whispering in his ear. Also, if you can remember back to Luke 3 a couple weeks ago, John the Baptist preached about a Messiah focused on judging—a message telling them to clean up their lives before the Judge gets here. Jesus was going around healing and teaching, not so much judging. These are the things that led John the Baptist to doubt—too much time imprisoned in his own thoughts, bad advice from his friends, and things not going like he thought they would. Have you been there before, only getting further and further away from God? Jesus responds to John the Baptist’s doubt by verifying that he’s out there healing and teaching, but more than that, using specific words that John the Baptist would know point to the signs of the Messiah spelled out in Isaiah 29:18-19, 35:5-6, and 61:1-3. God knows us well enough that He can say exactly the right thing to refocus our eyes, out of doubt and back to belief, if we choose to let Him. Verse 23 says the same: “Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of me.” Jesus does not want John the Baptist to give into his doubt but to be blessed through his belief. And to show further that Jesus is for John, not against him, and for us too, Jesus tells the crowd about how awesome John the Baptist is in the eyes of God in verses 24-28. This is the kind of Savior we are so blessed to have! Even if we doubt and deny, He still loves us. He doesn’t dwell on judging us in our doubt and denial, He just wants us back. If you’ve experienced a time of doubt and falling away, drowning in guilt and I’m-not-good-enough, please know—He just wants you back. He did not come to condemn but to save (John 3:17)!
Verses 36-50 tell a story about a Pharisee, a sinful woman, and Jesus. Of course, the Pharisee thinks he’s above sin, but to his credit, he is hosting Jesus in his home, perhaps opening his heart a little. The sinful woman is crying at the feet of Jesus, wiping her tears with her hair, kissing him, and pouring perfume on his feet, while the Pharisee is appalled that Jesus would let a sinner touch him. Oh Simon the Pharisee, we’re all sinners, you too. Jesus takes this lesson a step further. He recognizes that the sinful woman has sinned more than the Pharisee through the parable he tells about cancelling different amounts of debt. But the kicker is Jesus’ words in verse 47: “’…he who has been forgiven little loves little.’” The sinful woman in recognition of the big debt that Jesus has paid for her more passionately shows her love for Jesus. The Pharisee is not a believer and doesn’t even admit that he’s a sinner; therefore, he can’t accept forgiveness through Jesus, and he treats Jesus like any normal dinner guest rather than the promised Messiah and Son of God. Which one better describes you as you open up the Bible each day to sit with Jesus, the Pharisee or the sinful woman? Think of people you know who are on fire for Jesus, going out and shouting the good news wherever they go. Is verse 47 true in their lives?
You see my struggles, big and small, and You love me through it and help me.
Thank You for Your love!!! I know that You see me struggling through my job as mom right now. Please help me continue to give control to You in all of my “jobs”, and if there’s something I need to change in my parenting, please give me wisdom! Thank You for loving me through every season of life, and just wanting my heart no matter what I’ve done!
Posted on January 28, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged Bible, Bible Study, chronological gospels, doubt, gospel, Jesus, John the Baptist, Luke, sinful woman, SOAP. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.