Thursday, October 24, 2013

Luke 8-10

Scripture connections: Matthew12-14,16-18Mark 3-9

Praying.  Teaching.  Loving.  Forgiving.  Healing.  That's Jesus.  Luke 8-10 repeats many of Jesus' teachings that we need to hear again and again.  There's "The Parable of the Sower," and "A Lamp On a Stand," Jesus calming the storm, and feeding the five thousand.  Jesus works more miracles in those He meets.  He drives out demons, raises a girl from the dead, and heals the bleeding woman.  This is also when Jesus is transfigured on a mountain.  Lots of powerful, Godly moments are happening.  Through all these stories, every time we hear God's word, we deepen our relationship with Him and grow in our understanding of His awesome character and will for our own lives.  

I want to turn my attention today to an argument the disciples have about who is the greatest among them.  
This is a natural human tendency, I think.  Even if we don't talk about it, we all, to some degree, fight a superiority/inferiority complex in some way.  Jesus' response is awesome and unpredictable,

For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.

I think one of the best illustrations of this Christian principle in the Bible is the parable of "The Good Samaritan."  This is another one of those well-known Bible stories for all ages (there's a great YouTube cartoon of this story for young children).  Yet, it's not well-known enough.  The big picture is that those with the most resources and position to help are the ones who help the least.  The one least likely to do good for God, does the most, gives the most, loves the most.  It makes you think, who really has the most faith?  For sure, a strong faith is not about knowledge or resources.  It's about how we actually face our reality, how we react to what is right in front of us.  This story reminds us to think about acts of mercy we have freely given lately.  Are you most like the priest and the Levite, so busy you don't notice God's call to meet someone's desperate need for God's grace?  Or, are you like the Good Samaritan who willingly puts aside his own agenda and cultural norms to be God's hands and feet in the world?

We are all called to be most like the Good Samaritan, serving others like Jesus, not so that we can become great in the eyes of God, but so that others see and experience Christ's love through us.

A prayer for today-

Dear God,

Thank you for all that you teach me about your mercy and grace through Jesus and the story of The Good Samaritan.  Thank you for filling my life with Your mercy and grace.  I pray for all the people who are hurting, broken, and in need of your saving love in their lives.  Forgive me for missing opportunities to give your awesome, unconditional love to others.  Open my heart to those who need to experience Christ through my actions.  Guide me in doing Your work today and in all the days to come.

In Jesus' name I pray,

Grace and peace,

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