Old Testament: Judges 1 & 2
Poetry: Psalm 107
* New Testament: Luke 7
God had given Jesus the ability to perform miracles and the capability to be the “one Teacher” (Matt.23:8) who revealed important messages from Him. In his teachings, we learn the Great Commandment of loving God with all that we are, among other truths of loving our neighbor as ourselves, going into the world to preach the gospel, and so much more. And he didn’t just want us to be aware of these commands, he wanted us to put them into practice. His teachings were to be the foundation on which we build our lives.
The miracles and teaching were attracting a crowd. In Luke 7, we see that people were seeking out Jesus. Each person was very different from the other, but they shared a common need that Jesus could fill. A centurion is seeking healing for his servant, a widow needs resurrection power for her son, a prophet needs reassurance that Jesus is the one, and a sinful woman needs to be assured that her sins are forgiven. But even beyond the glaring needs presented to Jesus, we can see how those in Christ’s presence are being changed. Just think about all the lives that are influenced and thus transformed because of interactions with those who have interacted with Jesus.
I imagine that the elders of the Jews were praising God when their plea for healing was granted along with the centurion’s friends and the crowd that followed Jesus. The crowd along with a large funeral procession are awestruck and praised God for resurrecting the widow’s son. What a scene that was! Going from mourning to praise. And of course, I imagine the disciples of John would never forget the message they were given. “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.” We can only guess at the large amount of people that were strengthened in the faith because of the imprisonment and execution of John. This event still impacts followers today. Encouraging us to show others our love for Christ even in the middle of some of life’s dismal circumstances.
And last, we look at Simon the Pharisee. I would imagine that he was forever changed by having dinner with Jesus and by the interruption of the sinful woman. He learned that those who are aware of their great need for forgiveness have a great appreciation for the forgiveness they have received. Being truly forgiven, makes us want to express our thankfulness and love.
When these people entered into his presence, their minds, hearts, and lives are ultimately changed to reflect him more fully. When we enter into the presence of Jesus, we can expect that our lives will be changed, too. Sometimes our desires may be fulfilled, but even more than that, we will have our hearts changed to desire what God has for us.
Enter into his presence today and experience the change that comes from spending time with Jesus. May this change create a ripple effect that will transform your family, friends, coworkers, and community.
-Rebecca Dauksas and Cayce Fletcher
- Has your life been changed by Jesus? If so, how? If not, why?
- Of the people Jesus interacted with in Luke 7, which one are you most like? What do you share in common? What do you think this person would have told their friends, family, coworkers, community about Jesus following the events of Luke 7? What do you have to tell about Jesus?
- What does God reveal about Himself and about His Son in our Bible reading today?