FDR for 15/01/2014
Today’s passage is Luke 7:1- 17 that presents two short scenes in Jesus’ ministry that provide us with choices about how we act. Or not.
A centurion in charge of many. One of whom is dying.
A mother taking her only son, and source of worldly support, out to be buried.
If we step back a bit, behind the descriptions provided in this passage, there is much to see here.
The faith of a Roman centurion in a Jewish preacher and teacher whom the locals had come to speak of. A leader who valued his servant enough to ask another to cure. A leader who recognised the great power of Jesus and verbalised his own unworthiness for Jesus to come into his home. Yet this leader recognised too the cultural differences between himself and Jesus, sending those to Jesus who could identify with Jesus as Jews, who are grateful for this gentile leader’s synagogue building work.
And on the road to the burial, a mother, hopeless in the death of her only son and accompanying his body and their friends towards his final earthly resting place.
Yet Jesus’ responses are to act as this faithful gentile leader requested and to act out of His own compassion for this mother. In the first He ‘reaches’ across time and space and the servant is found cured when the Jewish messengers return to the centurion. In the second He risks being labelled ceremonially unclean to touch the litter bearing the body and instructs the body to sit up. Again reaching across time to restore this dead body to become the living son of this grieving mother. Both are restored to worldly health. No earthly person can do these things!
So who is this Jesus? How does anybody respond to a man on earth doing things others can’t do?
A quick look at previous passages of the Bible make it clear that God was to send a King, a Messiah, to lead His people and these two scenes stamp clearly on Jesus that he can only be a very close associate of God. (We have already seen and will have repeated to us in other passages Jesus’ clear connection with God as His Son.)
Coming through these two scenes today for me is Jesus unwavering attention to people around Him who needed His action without any consideration of the boundaries. Ethnic, cultural, physical, even distance and time. To act for those who needed him.
IF you read this blog today and come to these passages unsure of the miracles Jesus works in these lives and don’t know of this Jesus, God’s son, then here or by phone, or face to face in church, keep reading, talking and asking so that you too may see with clarity the great gift God has placed for us in His Son. As one who personally knows Christ and experiences His saving grace each day, and some miracles in my own life; my challenge to you is to do what you need to do to accept this gift of eternal life into your own life?
If you want Jesus to come into your life now then you only need to ask Him!
A Prayer: Lord Jesus, I have heard about you and want you to be part of my life from now on. I know that I want to change and grow in understanding of you and accept a new way of life as one who knows you while throwing away my old way of life to become a faithful follower of you.
IF you read this blog today and come to these passages sure of your faith in Jesus and unsure of how these passages effect you then I challenge you to see the ministry roles here and seek out, through prayer, those roles to which God calls you? What are the skills and capabilities God has equipped you with?
How might these be worked out, or continue to be worked out, in your life and particularly in the life of the community in which you live?
A prayer: Lord Jesus, in these passages today I have seen you at work in the community in which you were becoming known. As I seek to serve you as your follower, encourage and challenge me to see the God-given opportunities for service of You around me and within all that I do.
Whether you are a seeker or a follower today, May the Lord bless and keep you as you continue your journey of knowing and growing in Christ.