Words and Actions
You are the God of wonder, the God of the everyday. I praise You for the miraculous and the routine.
Read LUKE 4:31-44
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
Consider the ways God has shown compassion towards you over the past year, and give him thanks for his never-failing love.
These verses are packed with activity. Having controversially announced his mission in his home synagogue, Jesus starts implementing it in Capernaum, Simon’s town, where he finds a much warmer welcome. Imagine the sounds, the smells, the crowds jostling to get help or a better view, and the sheer drama of it all. There are voices calling for attention, demons shouting out his name, groups huddled together speculating about the source of his authority. There’s a sense of momentum but his quiet authority over demons and sickness speaks volumes. Even where the evil nature of a demon is emphasized (33) and it tries to cause harm when dealt with (35), the supremacy of Jesus is clear.
His kingdom manifesto comes vividly to life as we find him with those on the margins (people demonized or sick, and women), focusing on their individual circumstances and not merely offering sympathy but bringing transformation. His words and actions come together, each validating the other. He moves purposefully from one situation to the next—from the synagogue to a family home to a solitary place (cf: Mark 1:35), and then on to other towns. There’s urgency in his preaching about the “kingdom of God” (43)—the first use of a phrase that is found over thirty times in Luke’s Gospel. Having been sent, he demonstrates a clear sense of what he’s come to do, and so refuses to be diverted, however pressing the immediate circumstances (33,34). As I write, horrific pictures of natural disasters are filling the TV screens, but by the time you read this something else will have taken its place. Whatever the situation, it’s easy for our senses to become dulled, to feel distanced from the needs of others. Jesus, though, started his mission right in the midst of human need, always purposeful, always loving.
Tune in to the news regularly. Pray about what you hear, asking Jesus to show you how to respond.
Lord, life with all its complexities can drain the joy and hope from daily living. Give me strong shoulders to carry my burdens and help with the burdens of others.
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