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Luke 6:20-36

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24

SCRIPTURE:  Luke 6:20-36

BY: Josh Boles

At this point Jesus has fully established His ministry here on earth and has called his 12 disciples. The masses are starting to trust in the reality that the long awaited Messiah is finally here! As we have seen, this is disturbing news for the religious, and the powerful. This plays right into our context today.

As Jesus does frequently throughout the Gospel accounts, He speaks to the crowds and then speaks truth directly to His disciples. What we get here in verses 20-26 is how Jesus thinks about value, and the things He values is clearly different than what the rest of the world values. Pay close attention to verses 20-22, and the kind of people who will experience joy, and a full life. Who are the blessed? The poor, hungry, weeping, and the hated.

Why are these the blessed? Jesus tells us at the end of verse 20 when He says, “because the kingdom of God is yours.” A life devoted to Jesus in many situations is met with many trials on this earth. In many countries people are beaten, and stripped of every earthly position they have. There are Christians all over the world living in extreme poverty, who are hungry, and who are hated, and consequently beaten or killed.

What is Jesus response to these people? Look in verse 23. “Rejoice in that day and leap for Joy.” Why should we have joy? Because all of the bad listed above will be traded for heavenly reward as we see in verse 23. What we have to understand about this truth is that, it is God’s perspective, not human perspective. We clearly don't view hunger as a good thing, but Jesus knows that the highest value we will have is our rewards in heaven. He knows that one day all of our sorrows will be traded for joy ten fold.

When we get to verses 24-26 we see a stark contrast. These subsequent verses are pretty much exactly reversed from 20-22. So what does this mean for us? Jesus is not trying to tell us that if you have money, are well fed, or loved you are going to hell. But He is asking a very important question. Where does your comfort come from? Just look at the end of verse 24, “they have received their comfort.”

This is perhaps the most important contrast in this chapter. People who are in Christ receive their comfort from knowing we have an eternal kingdom. On the flip side, we have people who find their comfort from earthly possessions? So where does your comfort come from? It is not wrong to have things, but it is wrong to be comforted by those things, and certainly to comfort in those things above our relationship with God.

What we see here is a test of faith. Think of something in your life you cannot imagine living without. Maybe a television, favorite chair, or a combination of a lot of things. Do those things trump the value you place on your relationship with God. Or, is the thing you cannot live without your personal quiet time with the Lord.

This is the goal I believe Jesus is begging the disciples to consider. If I could paraphrase Jesus’ words I think what He is trying to tell is, “Don’t be like the Pharisees that have been following me around. They have wealth, power, and authority. Focus on the kingdom of God and you will experience true joy.”

Life without Jesus is doomed. This is true regardless of how virtuous of a life you live, or regardless of how much wealth you achieve. But! Life with Jesus is blessed. Even if  you are hungry, and hated by the world. Jesus does not value the things that this world does. We should value the things that Jesus does. Today, find comfort in Him.

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Luke 6:1-11

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

Tuesday, APRIL 23

SCRIPTURE:  Luke 6:1-11

BY: Josh Boles

Today we are going to look at the first 11 verses of Luke chapter 6. At this point Jesus is still establishing His ministry here on earth, and opposition to Him is growing stronger. As we learned yesterday, Jewish leaders would literally follow Jesus around to wait for Him to do something wrong. We see this even more clearly today. They were very persistent in their pursuit to find fault in Jesus.

Take notice to verse 1. They were passing through grain fields. This means that they were in a rural area, a place where Pharisees usually are not seen. We see the pharisees raise their concern in verse 2 that Jesus was breaking the Law. In ancient Israel tradition, working on the sabbath was punishable by execution. It was unlawful to “work” on the sabbath. They took this to the extreme by declaring that even walking too far is “work.” They tainted God’s original Law’s by placing their own human twist on them.

In saying this, the Pharisees were doing something that I think the Church today does far too often. They were placing their tradition, and rituals above the needs of people. In this case, we are talking about hunger, and we see Jesus addresses this later in our passage.

The Pharisees not only question Jesus’ motives, but also His authority. Jesus answers them by quoting 1 Samuel 12. David and his men were hungry and the only place for them to eat was in the temple. The priest permitted them to eat the bread that was only intended to be eaten by the priests. David was not even king yet, but nowhere in the scripture is David rebuked for doing this.

In verse 6-10 we are given a similar situation. It is very likely that these were the same pharisees questioning Jesus earlier. This time Jesus heals somebody on the Sabbath which too would have been against their tradition. In verse 9 Jesus gives the Pharisees a compelling argument to think about. He says, “Is it lawful to do good on the sabbath or evil? to save a life, or destroy it?”  This also goes back to meeting the needs of people over our tradition. Jesus is saying, “is it more important to be traditional, or to feed the hungry, and heal the sick?”

Passages like this are also used in Jesus’ trial. The perception of the religious leaders were that Jesus was a criminal and broke the Law. Even today, people who oppose Jesus will look at things like this and say that Jesus Himself was a sinner.

Lets go back to verse 5 when Jesus says, “The son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath.” By tradition, David was not premised to eat the bread, only the priest. Jesus is establishing His authority here by saying He is the priest. He owns the Law, and is the perfect fulfillment of the Law.

We also need to take a moment and understand the purpose of the Law. When we speak of “the Law,” we are speaking of the first 5 books of the Old Testament. What we need to realize is that any time a Law is given, it is only in response to man’s sin, and rebellion. This means that the first two thousand years of history or so were God’s response to a sinful creation.

This is not God trying to make mankind’s life miserable. It was to give them as way into fellowship with him. Jesus was the only man ever to walk this earth without sin. Which means He walked this earth in direct fellowship with God. The Laws were not intended for Jesus, they were intended for sinners, yet Jesus was the perfect fulfillment of the Law that we might live!

Rules are important, and there certainly are rules that we are to follow. Here is what I want to leave you with. Meeting the needs of people around you, both physical and spiritual, are more important than any ritual, or tradition. Go and make a difference in somebody’s life.

Posted by Josh Boles with

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