When day came, Jesus left and went to a secluded place; and the crowds were searching for Him, and came to Him and tried to keep Him from going away from them. But He said to them, “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, for I was sent for this purpose.” So He kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea. (Luke 4:42-44 NASB)
Can we ever have so much of Jesus that we need to ‘let Him go’? Is there any point in our lives where we are supposed to let Him move on to someone else? I believe the answers are yes, and no.
Continue reading “Should We Let Jesus Go?”
Then He went down to Capernaum, a town in Galilee, and was teaching them on the Sabbath. They were astonished at His teaching because His message had authority. (Luke 4:31-32 NASB)
Growing up I always hated it when my parents said, “Because I said so.” It felt like I was being talked down to, like they thought I wasn’t smart enough to understand their reasoning, as if I wasn’t able to be like them. And I wasn’t. I wasn’t able to understand, I didn’t know, and I wasn’t experienced enough to get what their reasoning was. And so, yes, they talked down to me. After all at the time, I was probably four feet shorter than they were.
Continue reading “Because He Said So”
And he rolled up the scroll and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all in the synagogue were fixed on him. And he began to say to them, “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” And all spoke well of him and marveled at the gracious words that were coming from his mouth. And they said, “Is not this Joseph’s son?” (Luke 4:20-22 ESV)
One of the many perplexing things Jesus does is His criticism of Nazareth. It’s also recorded in Matthew 13:54-58 and Mark 6:1-6. In those passages, there’s not much detail about Jesus reading Isaiah, nor about His response to their response. No one tries to throw Him off a cliff either.
Continue reading “Now We Listen, Now We Don’t”
And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, “To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will. If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written,
“‘You shall worship the Lord your God,
and him only shall you serve.’”
(Luke 4:5-8 ESV)
I once heard a pastor say that if the devil had taken any more than a moment of time to show Jesus all the kingdoms of the world that it wouldn’t have been much of a temptation. People say the most ridiculous things. There is no way this was much of a temptation for Jesus; not even had this devil taken a week to display all the glory. Think about it. Can you really imagine Jesus going, “Oh, wow. I know I can form entire galaxies with a word, but you know, these, these look really neat too. This is a tough one. All I need to do is worship you, who I created in the first place? That is a pretty sweet deal…” Seriously? I’m telling you, there has to be more to this temptation than what can be found on the surface. Because it makes the devil seem pretty stupid on the surface. I doubt he’s that dumb. That would be nice, but I don’t think so.
Continue reading “For What Will I Sell My Worship”
And Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness for forty days, being tempted by the devil. And he ate nothing during those days. And when they were ended, he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.” And Jesus answered him, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone.’” (Luke 4:1-4 ESV)
A couple of descriptors Luke uses are interestingly strung together, which by themselves are not nearly as interesting. For instance, Jesus is full of the Holy Spirit but hungry. He was led by the Spirit, but into the wilderness where there was nothing to eat. It’s an odd juxtaposition of literary elements. Of course it also sets up nicely an odd event.
Continue reading “The Temptation of “Gluttony”?”