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Luke 9:1-20

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

TUESDAY, MAY 7

SCRIPTURE:  Luke 9:1-20

By:  Jeremy Witt

I think it is safe to say that there has never been anyone like Jesus nor will there ever be.  He stands alone.  He came in a way no one expected.  He ministered in a way unlike anyone ever had before.  He treated people differently and unexpectedly.  Rather than seek out the rich, famous, powerful, and well-known, Jesus went to the poor, unknown, powerless, and ignored.  He used common people to change the world.  The world had never seen this before nor will it again. 

One of the things that Jesus does so differently is that He gave His power away to these people to impact the world.  We see in verse one how Jesus gave them power and authority.  No other human had that power or authority to give but Jesus.  He chose to use these men and women to radically impact the world.  Rather than keeping these people close to Him, Jesus sent them out.  He was more than counter-cultural.  He was radical.  His words in verses 3-5 make no sense in human terms.  Can you imagine going on a trip with no extra clothes or money?  Can you imagine going to places with no itinerary or even an idea where you might stay?  Jesus, the One who is the Word who created everything, chose to use ordinary people to do LIFE-sized things!  What a big God we serve!

Notice what Jesus did.  He announces His Kingdom (verse two) through preaching and healing.  This is both physical and spiritual.  This shows us that His Kingdom is both of these things.  Jesus was both man and God and His Kingdom represented this.  Notice also how Jesus’ leadership was handed out.  In verse one, He empowered them.  In verse two, He sent them out with a purpose.  In verse three and four, He told them what to do.  In verse five, He told them how to deal with tough circumstances.  Skip down to verse 10.  What does He do when they return?  He listens to their stories and then slips away with them to refuel and recharge.  After a time of ministry, evaluation is key as well as recharging.  Ideally, this is what we should be doing on Sunday’s.  It is our time to refuel and recharge for the next week of ministry.  It is tiring and can be quite difficult in helping others.  We need rest and we need to refuel.   Our flesh needs the rest and our souls need to be fed, both physical and spiritual as Jesus’ Kingdom is.

Sandwiched in the middle of our chapter are verses 7-9 which tells us about John the Baptist’s death.  We have talked repeatedly about John earlier in the chapter.  More complete coverage of the story lies in Matthew 14:1-12 and Mark 6:14-29.

The remaining portion of today’s verses is in verses 11-20 in a story that many of us have read before.  The feeding of the 5000 men comes after the disciples have gone throughout the land and taught on the Kingdom.  They preached and they healed, which caused many to hear for the first time of Jesus.  The thing that catches my attention is that when people do God’s work, we see people respond.  Some respond to the physical and some respond to the spiritual, but people respond! 

When the disciples realize the crowd is big and it is getting late, what does Jesus do?  He leaves it to the disciples as we read in verse 13.  Jesus is continuing to empower the disciples as He just did.  Notice how the disciples respond in verses 13-14.  Jesus could have sent the people away, but He responded by meeting their physical needs.  Again, He is showing His humanity and how His Kingdom served not only the spiritual but also the physical.  APPLICATION:  As we go out and encounter people, we need to remember both the spiritual and the physical as we serve them.  It is next to impossible to neglect one while doing the other.  We must serve both areas.

Our last section of verses is 18-20.  It is not about what others think about Jesus, but it matters what YOU think of Jesus.  Jesus asked the disciples first, who do people say that I am, but then Jesus makes it personal.  Verse 20 is key for each one of us to answer.  Peter’s confession proclaims Jesus as the Messiah.  This is the question as we minister to others to ask.  Who do you think Jesus is? 

Posted by Jeremy Witt with
in Faith

Luke 8:26-56

DAILY DEVOTION

FOR

MONDAY, MAY 6

SCRIPTURE:  Luke 8:25-56

By:  Jeremy Witt

One of the things that we learn from reading the Bible is that Jesus is more powerful than sickness and Jesus does the unthinkable.  Healing sickness is one thing, but getting rid of demons is something completely different.  In verses 26-39 we discover Jesus getting rid of demons from a Gentile man and sending them into pigs, which only upset the owners of the pigs.  When I think of pigs, like most of you, I think of bacon, pork chops, sausage, or pulled pork.  But some of you might be thinking of how dirty a pig can be.  This is also true, but don’t you wish you had some bacon right now? 

Jesus is in the region where Gentiles are, and this man who is demon-possessed happens to be a Gentile.  What stands out to me is in verse 28.  Notice how the demon responds to Jesus.  The demon acknowledges who Jesus is and that they (the demons) are powerless against Him.  They beg Jesus not to torture them.  The demons are submissive immediately to Jesus.  I need to let that sink through my hard head and stay there.  Those of us who are fighting against the Son of God need to be submissive and not to resist Him.  Yet I do that entirely too much. 

Notice verse 30.  We learn the names of the demons that were inside of the man but also notice in verse 31 where they do not want to be sent.  The bottomless pit can be found in Revelations 9:1-2 and 20:3.  It is their destiny.

I do not intend to go into demonic possession in depth, but we should not be naïve about this either.  Satan is real and those who left heaven with him are very real as well.  We can be influenced by them, but as a Christ follower, we cannot be possessed by one because we are filled with the Holy Spirit.  One who is not a believer in Jesus can be possessed however as we read here in Scripture.  We see Jesus dealing with demons consistently and even see Jesus tell Peter, “Get behind me Satan.”  A Christ follower cannot be possessed but we can be influenced by Satan or his demons.  A Christ follower can even be an instrument used by Satan, but again, not possessed.  This is why we need to be daily living in the Spirit and not by our flesh. 

Our next portion of Scripture deals with two healings and again, Jesus shows His healing power even over death.   Jesus is on His way to help the dying daughter of Jairus, a leader in the local synagogue.  Along the way to Jairus’ daughter, something profound happens.  Verse 42 tells us that a crowd was surrounding Jesus as He walked.  A woman who had been bleeding for 12 years touches Jesus believing that even touching His robe would heal her.  The bleeding stopped when she touched the robe of Jesus as we read in verse 44.   Jesus suddenly stops walking and asked who touched Him?  The woman knew that she was caught and in verse 47 tells Jesus her plight and what she had done.  The brevity of space prevents us from going on into the full account of this, but ultimately the woman had been unclean based upon the Jewish law as long as she had been bleeding.  Also, anything she had touched became unclean as well.  To be blunt, the entire town was most likely unclean because of this woman.  When Jesus says in verse 46, “I felt healing power go out from me” this was not simply for this woman but for the entire town!!!  How immense is that? 

Don’t forget that Jesus is on His way to Jairus’ house!  Verse 49 gets us back to this when some messengers arrive with bad news.  Jesus calls the father to a moment of faith in verse 50.  “Don’t be afraid.  Just have faith and she will be healed.”  Can you imagine being the father and just hearing from your messengers that your daughter is dead.  I can’t imagine the flood of emotions the father might have.  He might be mad at Jesus for stopping to talk to this woman.  He might be mad at the crowd for slowing Jesus down.  He might have doubted at first but he still walked with Jesus. 

You may not be dealing with the loss of a child, but a job loss, a divorce, a broken relationship can cause us to lose hope.  Don’t lose hope!  Even in the worst of circumstances, God can do things we would never dream or imagine if we will trust in Him.  Don’t give up, don’t ever give up.

Posted by Jeremy Witt with

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