Let’s take this opportunity to repent and return to the words Jesus called us to follow. Let’s recognize the Lord of the Sabbath and find rest and joy in the presence of God and the beauty of God’s creation and seek to be good trees that produce good fruit at all times.
These stories show us the inclusivity and community aspects of Jesus’ message and lifestyle. Just as he prompted Simon’s nets to catch every fish, his ministry was vast and reached the farthest corners of society with hope and healing.
Chapter 4 of Luke turns the attention fully to Jesus, and within this chapter’s 44 verses we learn of Jesus’ early temptations, rejection, and healings.
I’ve heard these stories many times, so my goal is to read it with a fresh mindset and see things I either haven’t noticed before or that I rarely see highlighted. I hope you join me in this process for two reasons: 1. It’s always good to read about Jesus and 2. I think we’re going to see some things that really don’t line up with the message white American evangelical Christians in particular are promoting in our current culture. In the spirit of the “back to the Bible” movement that supposedly informs their theology, I’m narrowing it down and going back to Jesus. If we truly seek to follow him, isn’t this where we should start?
Fear and anxiety reflect a nature of doubting. When Jesus calms the storm (Matthew 8:23-27) after His disciples all panic, He replies “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” A while later when He walks on the water and they panic thinking He’s a ghost, He tells them not to be afraid. And when Peter steps out of the boat to walk with Him, it’s when Peter’s focus turns away from Jesus that he begins to sink. Jesus’ response: “You of little faith, why did you doubt?”
Dehumanizing groups of people has always been a part of human history, and if anything, it is stronger than ever today. When the most powerful person on earth has spoken repeatedly of groups of people as “drug dealers, criminals, and rapists,” due only to their nationality, saying “these aren’t people. These are animals” about anyone (even gang members), and professing entire groups of people as “the enemy of the people” simply because they report things he doesn’t like (even if provably true), we need to reevaluate.
Our world often gets caught up on the idea of qualifications. As I’m currently going through a job search, one of the most important pieces of any job post is the list of qualifications. Within a few bullet points, I can quickly discern whether or not I have the required experience and expertise. If not, …