Every Last Word
Do you feel like your life is always in the fast lane? Are you worn out juggling your job, your family, and your other relationships? Do you wish you could help others, but are too burnt out or simply don’t have time? Do you find yourself yearning for a space in life where you can rest? Jesus offers a rhythm of life that provides new joy and rest.
Have you ever warned your kids not to hang out with the wrong crowd? The ones who cheated and did drugs, and didn’t have good character? We Always tell our kids to choose their friends wisely. But did Jesus himself follow these rules when picking out his disciples and friends? Who did he hang out with and why?
Sin makes us like first century lepers: disfigured, unacceptable both to God and other people, and unable to help even ourselves. The leper in Luke was an outcast. He was considered as good as dead by his society, but he still ran to Jesus and cried out for healing. How did Jesus respond to him? How does he respond to us when we turn to him for new life?
Have you ever been doing something that you love. But then something else so important came up that you gladly dropped everything for it? Well Peter found himself in this exact spot when Jesus came along. He was faced with a decision that could change his entire life forever. How did he respond to the call of the Lord Jesus Christ?
Different people exercise their authority in different ways. A general does it by barking out orders and enforcing strict military discipline. The traffic officer does it by blowing his whistle and by handing out citations. The tax man does it by conducting an audit and assessing penalties. But how is it that the Lord Jesus Christ exercised his authority?
Who is Jesus? And what does he want with me? We have heard the news of his virgin birth. We have witnessed his baptism as the beloved Son. We have seen his struggle with Satan and listened to his preaching of the gospel. And as we look and as we listen, we are confronted again and again with his claims.
Of all the great sermons that have ever been preached since the beginning of the world, there’s no greater sermon than the sermon that Jesus preached in his home town of Nazareth. It was a sermon for bringing people to saving faith, for giving them hope in trouble, for helping them to see the glory of the Son of God.
Jesus had come to destroy the devil, to liberate people who were enslaved to Satan by sin, and rather than waging a secret war or launching some kind of sneak attack, Jesus took the fight directly to Satan.
We are passing away and shall soon be gone. This is what it means to be a human being, and we need to face it. We are born. We live a short time during which we sin and then we die. From the very beginning, God had promised to send a Savior to a long and fallen line of sinners.
It is regularly tempting to think of the one who baptizes as more spiritual, than the one being baptized. We may even be tempted to think of the baptizer as being even greater in value because of his position. But Jesus turned this temptation upside down when He was baptized by John the Baptist.
We hear of the importance of preparation everywhere. People need to prepare for all kinds of things, exams, interviews, visitors, children, marriage, deadlines, taxes and even death. Now God did not need to prepare the way for Jesus to bring salvation to the world, but he did.