Luke 6:12-36

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In the previous passage Jesus made trouble for himself and as we left, the Pharisees were plotting what they were going to do with Jesus. What is his response to this? He prays, lots! (verse 12) He calls some of his disciples to him to be close friends and support him (verse 13-16). And he keeps going with what he was doing, not letting anyone stop him from healing (verse 17-19) and teaching (verse 20-49). Three fantastic responses – pray, get some Godly friends to support you, and don’t let opposition stop your ministry. Sounds like top tips for next time I’m in trouble.

The gospels say so many times ‘he healed everyone’ that I tend to gloss over it – it’s old news. But it’s amazing. They “all tried to touch him, because power was coming from him” (v19). Jesus had incredible power over nature. I guess if he didn’t, he’d be a pretty pants God.

The reversed attitude teaching usually confuses me. Many who are poor will never trust in Jesus and so will never find satisfaction or his kingdom. Paul was continually joyful, I doubt that Jesus was saying ‘woe’ to him. But as I was thinking about it just now something struck me. I’m still always surprised that when I really pray for it, I get flashes of inspiration that just aren’t me. I guess I shouldn’t be, though I never want to grow ‘used’ to God’s work and take him for granted. Anyhoo, those who recognise their true standing at the moment are the ones who are – eternally – set. I know that I am poor, I always fail to live up to the life I want to lead. I hunger for an increased knowledge of God and his word. And I mourn when I fail him. In those last three sentances, I should have said ‘I should…’ rather than ‘I do…’ I don’t do these things anywhere near as much as I would if I truly understood how sinful I am. But it is people who do recognise these things that will turn to God and ask him for help. One day, I will be in the kingdom of God. I will be satisfied by the most intimate relationship with my maker. And I will laugh for joy as I realise that I can at last reflect the wonder of God, and so give him praise and glory properly. As I write this, I’m bouncing a lot. I’m well excited about Heaven, at the moment!

By contrast, those who are satisfied with what they can pick up in this life so don’t look to God will find that the other side of death will be full of mourning and pain. I need to work harder to convict people of their real situation.

Jesus is not alone in teaching “Do to others as you would have them do to you”. How is he different from those other moral teachers? He did it! As he was being arrested, he healed one of those who was arresting him. As he was on the cross, he prayed that God would forgive those who had put him there. On the cross! And all it takes for me to be ratty is a two hour lab or a delayed tube. I need to be more loving all the time, especially when people annoy me. That’s gonna take effort and prayer.

Heavenly Father, thankyou that your Spirit helps us to understand your word when we ask you. Thankyou for the amazing truths in it. Thankyou for Jesus’ awesome power, thankyou for his awesome, loving life and thankyou for Heaven. Help me to be excited more of the time about the transformation that’s happened in me and my future, help me to have a compassion for those that are still without you. Help me to pray and confide in friends when I’m facing troubles, and never let anything stop me from preaching the Gospel. I’m sorry for when I’ve failed to weep for my sin, please help me to hate sin more. Amen

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