Exodus 7; Job 24; Luke 10; 1 Corinthians 11
Luke strings together several stories about Jesus’ activities. In looking for a common thread, several things caught my attention:
First, Jesus sent out workers with instructions: take only the essentials, what to do if people received them, and how to respond to those who rejected their message about the kingdom of God. For the last two, He said:
“The one who hears you hears me, and the one who rejects you rejects me, and the one who rejects me rejects him who sent me.” (Luke 10:16)
Second, Jesus told His workers not to be too excited about their ability to do what they had been doing. Their challenge to the enemy and their authority over his demons was wonderful but He said to them:
Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven.” (Luke 10:19–20)
Third, Jesus also spoke to the Holy Spirit about His revelation to His followers. He knew that some knowledge comes by experience, but the knowledge of God and His Son is revealed, and that revelation is not given to everyone:
In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, “I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, or who the Father is except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Then turning to the disciples he said privately, “Blessed are the eyes that see what you see! For I tell you that many prophets and kings desired to see what you see, and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.” (Luke 10:21–24)
After that, Jesus then told the familiar story of the good Samaritan to a lawyer who tested him with how to inherit eternal life. Jesus gave this man the two greatest commandments, but this expert in law hedged by asking who the neighbor is that he must love. Jesus made it clear that the love He was talking about was unconditional regardless of the person who receives it. Those who love like this pay no attention to customs, rules, the other person’s status, or any other excuses that would keep them from offering love to everyone, even enemies.
Finally He went to the home of Martha and Mary and Luke tells another familiar story of Martha’s distraction over serving and Mary choosing the “best thing” — to sit at His feet and listen to His teaching.
Reading these raises questions about my own life. Does having people reject or accept me mean that they will do the same with Jesus? Or am I more concerned about being accepted than how they respond to Him?
Do I reject (this word means to separate myself from) those who reject the message God gives me? Or do I get cold toward them because they have not listened to me, making this an issue about me instead of their eternal well-being and their attitude toward Jesus?
Is rejoicing over my salvation far more important than God giving me power over my spiritual enemies? Do I let God-given victories become a reason to boast rather than rejoicing in a salvation that gives me nothing I can boast about? Is my identity in my accomplishments rather than who I am in Christ?
Am I delighted to know Him by revelation — such an amazing gift? Or am I more interested in knowing Him by my experiences, walking by sight rather than by faith?
Can I love my enemies? This is challenging. I know another Christian who is so repulsive physically that I don’t even want to stand near him. I am not loving toward at least one neighbor. Are there others?
Do I choose the best thing? Or does my to-do list keep me from listening and learning from Jesus, from putting myself in a place where His truth is more easily revealed, understood and obeyed?
Application for all this is painfully obvious . . .