Scripture connections: Matthew 3-4, 8-9, Mark 1-2
Today in Luke 3-5, Jesus has grown up, gets baptized by John the Baptist, and begins His ministry when He is about 30 years old. Jesus drives out impure spirits, who seem to know He is the Son of God, teaches, preaches, and heals many along the way. Jesus begins to draw crowds. His God-given authority is hard to keep a secret onc He gets going. I love reading and learning about Jesus from the different gospels. They each have something a little unique to offer.
As I read, I get more of a big picture perspective on Jesus' baptism, and our own call to follow God. Even before He is born, we all know from scripture that Jesus is the Son of God, God in the flesh. He is called to greatness and power. We know He is going to do BIG things; He is the Savior, our Savior. Yet, he doesn't do them right away.
He is called to as much of an ordinary life as possible. First, Jesus is a child in Luke 1-2, growing and learning like children do, but with exceptional understanding of God. As Jesus grows, he gets a job much like we do today. He is a carpenter in His hometown of Nazareth. And then, something changes. Jesus is baptized by John the Baptist. Afterwards, Jesus goes to the wilderness for 40 days. It seems to me that He must do some real soul searching at this point. He takes a break from the everyday life He has been living. It is a turning point for Jesus. He fasts and is tempted, and He comes out of the situation ready to begin His ministry. It is God's timing. That's when Jesus becomes really famous for His good works, His Godly works.
It reminds me how important God's timing is in all that I do. God calls us to follow Jesus. He calls us to our own greatness in Him. Jesus changes us and who we are. Simon Peter, is one of the first disciples, and I am drawn to his reaction once He experiences the power of Christ in his life, literally right in front of him.
8 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners.
Jesus is so great in power. It's amazing. When we meet Him, we know it, Just like Simon Peter. We know we need Him desperately on the one hand. Yet, we run from His greatness because He makes us so aware of our inequities and sinfulness.
Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” 11 So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
The good news is, Jesus tells us the same thing, "Do not be afraid." Jesus forgives our sins and heals us. With Him, we are transformed. We can do all things, even if it means letting go of the life we have known for so long. For sure, God offers us a more fulfilling, joyful life than we are able to have on our own.
A prayer for today-
Thank you for sending Jesus to change my life as I know it on my own. Be with me as I ask forgiveness for my sins today. Help me change so that my job in life is one and same as Your great call for me. I know, Father, that every good and perfect gift is from above.
In Jesus' name I pray,
In Christ's love,
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