Today’s (Tu 05/11/2017) FDR passages are Joel 2:13-28 and Luke 13:10-21
Both passages today contain calls to review and resultant blessings.
Our reading in the book of Joel takes us to a challenge to review our standing before God as the passage prophesies what might need to be done to return to accepting the Lord’s favour and beseeching Him to turn back from the terrible judgement being described in yesterday’s reading. These passages are also seen as a description of the times of tribulation that occur in the end times before Christ’s second coming and the relief prophesied to His faithful people on His return.
Our Luke reading describes one scene and a number of actions from Jesus’ ministry. Here we see again Jesus working to heal and discuss or challenge belief and understanding. There are three facets I want to focus on in the Sabbath healing to again examine Our Lord’s foci.
The woman healed came to the synagogue to hear a man who was becoming known as a prophet and healer and before He is finished she is healed of an 18 year affliction and “immediately she straightened up and praised God.” (v13b) Jesus heals this woman in the place she is most hurting.
The synagogue leader, here addressing his people, requires them to come on days other than the Sabbath to be healed. Yet Jesus beginning with a lesser rule argues that even the donkey would be given water today, on the Sabbath. Then asks why not heal a person who is bound by evil. Jesus, using a tool common to synagogue discourse, engages in discussion with this synagogue leader, and other opponents, by arguing from the same rules as applied to work on the Sabbath. Moving from a lesser being, an animal which needs care to a person who needs care, He argues that there is a stronger reason to heal and to do so straight away.
Those attending the Synagogue with its leader and this healed woman are either defeated or delighted. As v17 puts it “all his opponents were humiliated, but the people were delighted with all the wonderful things he was doing.”
Finally, challenging the gardeners and the cooks! Picking up on Greg’s theme from yesterday; What are we doing with our mustard seeds and our yeast? Are we planting the seed of truth in people’s minds and hearts and praying for God’s Spirit to water it into a child of God? Are we putting the yeast of Christ’s saving grace into people’s lives and setting it in the sunlight of God’s Spirit so those we are among can rise into a person of Christ?
You and I have been blessed with a ‘mustard seed’ or the ‘yeast’ of faith. Are we replanting them in others by witness and prayer?
A prayer – Lord God, may we cherish the faith you have blessed us with enough to look for and pray about opportunities to bless others with your seeds and yeast in our short time on this earth. In Christ’s name we ask this. Amen.
[My apologies to our early starters for this late posting.]