Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Luke 4 -- Off And Running

Luke 4 offers to us the very first stages of Jesus public mission. In chapter 3 he is baptized, chapter 4 starts with the temptations. In the temptation story comes one of the biggest duh statements in all of Scripture. After 40 days and nights of fasting, Jesus was hungry. Most of us get hungry if we do not eat for a day much less 40 days and nights. From those temptations Jesus launches into the mission field preaching, teaching, healing, and generally setting people free.

In his first church service we find Jesus reading from Isaiah, and the people really like what he has to say. Then it takes a tragic twist as Jesus won't do what the people want, so they plan to throw him off a cliff. Luke tells us Jesus simply walked through the crowd away from the cliff and went on with the tour.

From the church service Jesus goes to the next town and the mission continues. Healings, exorcisms, teaching on and one. In fact Jesus works through the night serving the needs of the people. Then he withdraws from the crowd to collect his thoughts. The people want him back where he was, but Jesus keeps moving.

As Jesus launched the mission, he starts off fast and furious. Still his pace is fast but not reckless. Jesus knows exactly where he is going and what he is going to do when he gets there. The will of the people was not his guiding principle. The mission of Jesus was not a democratic process. The best way to describe it is Jesus the benevolent leader of the new kingdom. The people, you and me, are not the ones who call the shots, Jesus is. Our job is to keep us, even now Jesus knows exactly where he is going and what he is going to do when he gets there. The question is still the same today as when Luke is recounting, will we align with Jesus agenda?

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