Luke 16 Part 2–The Short or Long Game

After talking about choosing between God and money, Jesus tells a cautionary parable.  The parable illustrates the result of choosing the wrong master.  The rich man had a great life and Lazarus was a beggar.  In their lives, the rich man had no incentive or desire to assist Lazarus and literally watched the beggar die at his doorstep.  Then, the rich man also dies and ends up in Hades; where it is all torment, all the time.  In contrast, Lazarus is resting in Heaven with Father Abraham. 

Now, the Rich man is reaching out and begging for relief.  Abraham sadly, but firmly says no.  He tells the rich man that he made a choice on earth and is bearing the consequence of that choice.  What is more, there is no crossing over–that has been made impossible.  

Then, a more chilling answer.  The rich man asks Abraham to send Lazarus to warn his family of the cost of the rich man’s choice so that they might avoid the torment he was experiencing.  Sadly, Abraham tells the once rich man, that they have been warned by Moses and the prophets.  If they would not listen to that, they would not even listen to one raised from the dead.

In our lives, we are faced daily with the choice of serving God or serving ourselves and the world.  The choice takes on various forms and states, but in the end, it is still the choice of serving God or serving the world.  Both choices yield results. Often serving oneself is easier and more comforting in the short term.  From an eternal perspective, however, rejecting God’s plan for our lives leaves us separated and lost. 

Conversely, if we will trust God, in all circumstance, realize that He is faithful to supply all our needs, follow Him in all our ways–then the Lord will lead us through this brief journey and take us home to be with Him for eternity. 

It is our daily choice to play the short or the long game.  There is no doubt which choice is easier.  There is also no doubt which choice is better.  It takes us back to Joshua at his final address to Israel as they entered and took the promised land, “Choose this day whom you will serve…As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!” Joshua 24:15.

God Bless You


“There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. 20 At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores 21 and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

22 “The time came when the beggar died and the angels carried him to Abraham’s side. The rich man also died and was buried. 23 In Hades, where he was in torment, he looked up and saw Abraham far away, with Lazarus by his side. 24 So he called to him, ‘Father Abraham, have pity on me and send Lazarus to dip the tip of his finger in water and cool my tongue, because I am in agony in this fire.’

25 “But Abraham replied, ‘Son, remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things, but now he is comforted here and you are in agony. 26 And besides all this, between us and you a great chasm has been set in place, so that those who want to go from here to you cannot, nor can anyone cross over from there to us.’

27 “He answered, ‘Then I beg you, father, send Lazarus to my family, 28 for I have five brothers. Let him warn them, so that they will not also come to this place of torment.’

29 “Abraham replied, ‘They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.’

30 “‘No, father Abraham,’ he said, ‘but if someone from the dead goes to them, they will repent.’

31 “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’”

Luke 12 Part 3–Do not Sweat the Small Stuff (It’s all Small Stuff)

Jesus knew it was time to focus His chosen on the important things in life.  So many of us have hearts that long to be like Christ. Unfortunately, we are distracted by the things and worries of this world.  Especially when one has others that depend upon them–families, employees, parishioners, patients, students all draw upon our energy and wisdom to make their daily journey.  Jesus pulled the apostles aside and reminded them that God knows their concerns and has prepared to address them.  Luke 12:31 matches Matthew 6:33, “Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and God will give you everything you need!”  

Sometimes we are simply distracted from this universal truth.  We seek all the things of the world–money, power, security, favor, love, and peace.  Sadly, the world will never give any of those things.  Oh, it will promise them all but, in the end, like the flowers in the field it will wilt and die.

  God, on the other hand, grants the fruit of the spirit: Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.  Ask what you will, but that is what makes our lives complete.  That is why Jesus said time and again–Seek God, He will give you the stuff you need to live and what is more He will give you the peace to be full and complete on the journey. 

Paul sums it up quite nicely in Philippians 4:6, “Do not be anxious about anything, but by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving bring your requests to God.  Then the peace of God that passes all human comprehension will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus!”

God Bless You


Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday life—whether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. 23 For life is more than food, and your body more than clothing. 24 Look at the ravens. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for God feeds them. And you are far more valuable to him than any birds! 25 Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? 26 And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things?

27 “Look at the lilies and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. 28 And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

29 “And don’t be concerned about what to eat and what to drink. Don’t worry about such things. 30 These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need.

32 “So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.

33 “Sell your possessions and give to those in need. This will store up treasure for you in heaven! And the purses of heaven never get old or develop holes. Your treasure will be safe; no thief can steal it and no moth can destroy it. 34 Wherever your treasure is, there the desires of your heart will also be.

2 Corinthians 12:9–Thanks Jeff JonesBut he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

Luke 11 Part 1–Praying Made Perfect

Prayer is not the preparation for the greater work, prayer is the greater work.  Jesus was praying and His disciples were confused.  So, they asked for direction.  Seems fair, He was, after all, the great Rabbi.  So, Jesus broke it down for them.

First, He made it personal.  Father, not “Oh Great and Mighty One that inhabits the Heavenlies!”  Jesus wanted His chosen to understand that their relationship with God was personal. 

Next Jesus helped the guys to see that God was not a cosmic piggy bank.  He started by showing God respect and speaking words of adoration and reverence.  He acknowledged God’s kingdom and will–were supreme. 

Next Jesus acknowledged that it was God that meets one’s physical and spiritual needs.  Give us our daily bread and forgive us our trespass, AS WE FORGIVE THOSE that have wronged us.

Finally, Jesus closes with asking for direction–in the Matthew version, He also closes with a renewed acknowledgement that God was large and IN-Charge!

The magic really happens after the prayer, though.  Jesus imparts some of the most critical wisdom after the prayer.  In short, He helps His disciples to understand Who God really is.  What decent person when asked for something won’t respond just to get you off their back!–BE Tenacious.  What dad when you ask for something you need; would give you something harmful?  Jesus wanted these men to know that God is a Father filled with a desire to make them their best; but, also, to love and care for them unconditionally.

These men were going to change the world, but they had to trust God and see their relationship with Him as personal, not national. So, do we! Jesus’ model prayer was designed to show them and us our relationship and power–if we follow God.  I learned many years ago about the ACTS prayer model.  Adoration, Confession, Thanksgiving, and Supplication.  First, we acknowledge God’s greatness and supremacy.  Next, we must acknowledge we miss the mark and need God’s forgiveness. Then, we need to look at what God has done and simply thank Him for that.  Finally, with the right heart, we need to tenaciously ask God for what we need–big and small, as we would any loving father.  We need to be confident that God loves us and wants the best for us.

Prayer is so much more about our attitude than our words.  It is talking to God as a Father, and not as an aloof cosmic being.  His entire reason for creating us and sacrificing the Lord, was to be in personal relationship and fellowship with us. Let’s make 2021 the year we embrace that and follow Him closely, humbly, and believing He has this life under control!

God Bless You


 One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.”

He said to them, “When you pray, say:

“‘Father,[a]
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come.[b]
Give us each day our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins,
    for we also forgive everyone who sins against us.[c]
And lead us not into temptation.[d]’”

Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity[e] he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

11 “Which of you fathers, if your son asks for[f] a fish, will give him a snake instead? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? 13 If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!”

Luke 10 Part 1–Sending out the Teams

Jesus’s ministry was growing.  He sent out 36 teams to prepare for his visits.  He taught then the importance of walking by faith.  Take no food and make no arrangements in advance.  The disciples were to experience ministry on the front line.  Jesus knew they would be rejected by some.  Jesus wanted to teach His folks that rejection of them was more accurately rejection of the Lord.  They need not give it a second thought.  So as Jesus sent them out, He armed them with peace and courage. 

Now, these thousands of years later, He is still sending us out.  He is still arming us with peace and courage.  Jesus is still reminding us that when our message is rejected it is at Jesus and not us that rejection is aimed.  He also still wants His chosen to remember He is with us always.  He is faithful to supply all our needs.  We are His workmanship, and we need to follow Him closely.  If we will; this journey will have purpose and make sense.  Otherwise, we will wander aimlessly to an empty conclusion.

God Bless You


After this the Lord appointed seventy-two[a] others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.

“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there, your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.

“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat what is offered to you. Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’ 10 But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11 ‘Even the dust of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has come near.’ 12 I tell you, it will be more bearable on that day for Sodom than for that town.

Luke 9 Part 1–Now It Is Your Turn

It is difficult to grasp the enormity of what Jesus accomplished when He sent out the apostles to minister.  Remember, Jesus came to do several things.  He came to give folks a clearer picture of God– His heart, and His desire to have a personal relationship with people.  He also came to demonstrate the difference between being religious and being in relationship with God. Finally, He came to redeem our souls through His sacrifice and resurrection.

Today’s passage was His first real demonstration of God’s desire to make the relationship personal.  Jesus sent out the 12 to do what he had been doing.  The message to His guys was simple, “Go do what I am doing and do not take anything with you.  Let the people provide; and, if the reject you, shake the dust from your sandals.   Jesus wanted His disciples to know they were being prepared for something great. 

As they traveled through the countryside, they were healing and changing the world.  It was a miracle; it was a confirmation that Jesus was and is who He said He was.  Not only was He saving and changing lives, those that He appointed were also doing the same.  

As His chosen, we are called to do the same. We are told to go and make disciples of all nations.  We are told to be Christ’s ambassadors.  We are told to be content with our lives and know that we can do all things through Christ–who is faithful to supply all our needs. Matthew 28:18-20; 2 Corinthians 5:20, Philippians 4:11-13. 19.  In short, we are to walk and live by faith as Christ and His disciples also lived.  We are to walk without fear.  We are to pray, seek and trust God to use us as He sees fit.  We are also to live in a way that is confident in His plan and His desire to prepare, protect, and provide for our needs.

He has been teaching His chosen that for millennia!

God Bless You

_____________________________________________


When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.

Luke 8 Part 1–The Parable of the Sower

Of the messages from the Lord, the parable of the sower is both one of the most convicting and freeing messages Jesus shared.  In a sense it is very convicting.  When we realize we are to be sharing God’s message, it is a very daunting reality that many will hear the message but not be changed.  Life happens, and people reject the message, fail to grow because there is no follow-up, or simply allow life to choke out their walk with God.  Still, as we are faithful, with His message, God draws people into the kingdom, and they draw others until the Gospel wins the day.

So, while it is important that we share the Gospel, it is equally important to realize once sown, we do not control what happens to the message.  Sure, we need to follow up and disciple those who we know have received Christ, but we cannot stop people’s personal choices and life’s incredible attack.  That is God’s job through His Spirit in men’s lives.  Jesus was making clear that the message gets out there. God makes sure of that.  What men do with that message is all over the board.  We, as His chosen, need to share boldly and love unconditionally as we minister.  We are not the judges, we are the planters, crop caretakers, and harvesters of the message.  We allow the Lord to do the work and change lives. As Paul reminded us in Romans1:16, “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, it is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe!”

God Bless You


Soon afterward Jesus began a tour of the nearby towns and villages, preaching and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom of God. He took his twelve disciples with him, along with some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases. Among them were Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod’s business manager; Susanna; and many others who were contributing from their own resources to support Jesus and his disciples.

Parable of the Farmer Scattering Seed

One day Jesus told a story in the form of a parable to a large crowd that had gathered from many towns to hear him: “A farmer went out to plant his seed. As he scattered it across his field, some seed fell on a footpath, where it was stepped on, and the birds ate it. Other seed fell among rocks. It began to grow, but the plant soon wilted and died for lack of moisture. Other seed fell among thorns that grew up with it and choked out the tender plants. Still other seed fell on fertile soil. This seed grew and produced a crop that was a hundred times as much as had been planted!” When he had said this, he called out, “Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

His disciples asked him what this parable meant. 10 He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets[a] of the Kingdom of God. But I use parables to teach the others so that the Scriptures might be fulfilled:

‘When they look, they won’t really see.
    When they hear, they won’t understand.’[b]

11 “This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is God’s word. 12 The seeds that fell on the footpath represent those who hear the message, only to have the devil come and take it away from their hearts and prevent them from believing and being saved. 13 The seeds on the rocky soil represent those who hear the message and receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they believe for a while, then they fall away when they face temptation. 14 The seeds that fell among the thorns represent those who hear the message, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares and riches and pleasures of this life. And so they never grow into maturity. 15 And the seeds that fell on the good soil represent honest, good-hearted people who hear God’s word, cling to it, and patiently produce a huge harvest.

Luke 7 Part 3–John, and the Crisis of Faith

Clearly, the crowds had moved on.  For a time, John the Baptist was the Rockstar.  People came from everywhere to see and be baptized by this man of God.  He spoke with authority and preached repentance to a world that had abandoned their faith.  He was rough and burley.  He was so different from the norm, that people would come to see him simply because of his oddity.  But, when they heard him speak of Messiah–well then hope was restored.  

Then, the day came when Jesus started his ministry.  John announced Jesus and baptized him.  John knew Jesus was Messiah–he had known it from the time they met in their Mom’s wombs!  Still as Jesus grew in popularity, John’s following dissipated.  His disapproval of Herod’s behavior landed John in jail awaiting execution.  John’s faithful team kept him up to date about what was happening and the growing popularity of Jesus.  There in the jail, John questioned his purpose and his call.  John sent his guys to confront Jesus–Are You the one?

Jesus, as he had with so many others, sent back a message of comfort and peace.  “Tell John what you have seen–the healing, the opening of eyes, the casting out of demons and the raising folks from the Dead.  In a word, Jesus assured His cousin that while His ministry was different, their purpose was the same.  Jesus was changing the world and Its picture of the Heavenly Father.  Jesus was not mad.  He did not take offense at John’s crisis of faith.  Instead, Jesus reminded all that were there–a large crowd, to say the least, that John was a superHero.  He changed the course of many lives and prepared the way for Messiah.  Still, compared to God’s chosen, Jesus reminded the people that even rockstars pale in comparison.We, as His people, are children of God. 

We will stand with the Lord for eternity.  When life gets hard and circumstances seem hopeless, we must take our hope from that promise! John knew and we must cling to the fact that Jesus Christ is enough. He must be enough in both good times and bad.  He must be our sufficiency whether we are hungry or well fed.  He has to be the center of our faith.  Jesus comforted His friend because sometimes it is hard to see the miracle that is sitting in front of us.  Because of Jesus, we are able to be in a personal relationship with God, Our Heavenly Father.  That is a great gift.

God Bless You


John’s disciples told him about all these things. Calling two of them, 19 he sent them to the Lord to ask, “Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?”

20 When the men came to Jesus, they said, “John the Baptist sent us to you to ask, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we expect someone else?’”

21 At that very time Jesus cured many who had diseases, sicknesses and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind. 22 So he replied to the messengers, “Go back and report to John what you have seen and heard: The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy[a] are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is proclaimed to the poor. 23 Blessed is anyone who does not stumble on account of me.”

24 After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 25 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear expensive clothes and indulge in luxury are in palaces. 26 But what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 27 This is the one about whom it is written:

“‘I will send my messenger ahead of you,
    who will prepare your way before you.’[b]

28 I tell you, among those born of women there is no one greater than John; yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.”

29 (All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. 30 But the Pharisees and the experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John.)

Luke 6 Part 3–Loving and Judging

Perspective changes everything.  Imagine being an all-knowing, all-powerful, and omnipresent God.  Not only could you control all circumstances and overcome all obstacles; but you have known what the obstacles were and when those obstacles would occur since the dawn of time! That is the God we serve.  Jesus came to help people understand that this very God personally loves and cares for each of the people on earth.  This is not a God that is either distant or aloof. This is a God that truly loves His own and would do and give anything to save them.  

With that in mind, Jesus called the folks He met to do the same.  Love people.  Make the love unconditional.  Love them simply because that is what God does–loves us.  Also, quit judging the folks you disagree with.  Nobody knows each of us like God knows us–still, He loves us completely and perfectly.  Jesus called His followers to practice the very same lifestyle.  No more Loving “IF” or loving “Because” we simply love folks.  Our only acceptable “Because” is Because God Loves US!!!!  it is not an easy request.  it requires a faith that clings to a perfect God.  

We cannot place our faith in people, they always disappoint.  We cannot place our faith in science, money, history, or power–those things change constantly.  We must place our faith in the one constant–Our Heavenly Father, Adonai.  As it says in Romans 5:8, “God demonstrated His love for us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us!”  As Jesus began changing the world, His message was that we needed to accept this amazing Love that God demonstrates.  He also emphasized the critical nature of our sharing that unconditional and non-judgmental love with all the folks we meet.  If we will do that, we will truly experience the power of God in our lives!  Believe me, that power is darn well worth it!

God Bless You


27 “But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you. 29 If someone slaps you on one cheek, turn to them the other also. If someone takes your coat, do not withhold your shirt from them. 30 Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not demand it back. 31 Do to others as you would have them do to you.

32 “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. 33 And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that. 34 And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. 35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. 36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.

Judging Others

37 “Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven. 38 Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

39 He also told them this parable: “Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into a pit? 40 The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.

41 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Luke 5 Part 2–Meeting People Where They Are Hurting

As I grow older, I am more amazed with the patience of Jesus as He dealt with the religious leaders.  They were in effect, His team.  They represented the chosen people of God. Yet, as they stood and watched God do amazing things–all they could muster, was the ability to criticize and second guess God’s work.  Jesus did not let that slow him down though.  He was on earth to show people God from a human perspective. 

He healed the sick, cleansed the lepers and taught the masses that God was personal and loved them.  He wanted their worship to be awe and wonder, not fear and loathing.  So, He met folks right where they were.  He touched the leper not only to clean his flesh, but also to rid the man of the stigma of being untouchable.  Jesus forgave the paralytic–not to show off, but to address what was rendering the man paralyzed–not physically, but in his heart.

God continues to reach out to us right where we are.  Our needs are often a symptom of a deeper wound or issue.  He wants to go deep and cleanse us from the inside out.  Often, our prayers do not encompass what is really killing us.  We need to seek God and ask Him to show us what is enslaving us.  Then we can receive the Lord’s grace that allows Him to truly heal us.  I hope each of you have an amazing Thanksgiving and truly embrace all that you have to be grateful for.

God Bless You


12 In one of the villages, Jesus met a man with an advanced case of leprosy. When the man saw Jesus, he bowed with his face to the ground, begging to be healed. “Lord,” he said, “if you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean.”

13 Jesus reached out and touched him. “I am willing,” he said. “Be healed!” And instantly the leprosy disappeared. 14 Then Jesus instructed him not to tell anyone what had happened. He said, “Go to the priest and let him examine you. Take along the offering required in the law of Moses for those who have been healed of leprosy.[c] This will be a public testimony that you have been cleansed.”

15 But despite Jesus’ instructions, the report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases. 16 But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.

Jesus Heals a Paralyzed Man

17 One day while Jesus was teaching, some Pharisees and teachers of religious law were sitting nearby. (It seemed that these men showed up from every village in all Galilee and Judea, as well as from Jerusalem.) And the Lord’s healing power was strongly with Jesus.

18 Some men came carrying a paralyzed man on a sleeping mat. They tried to take him inside to Jesus, 19 but they couldn’t reach him because of the crowd. So they went up to the roof and took off some tiles. Then they lowered the sick man on his mat down into the crowd, right in front of Jesus. 20 Seeing their faith, Jesus said to the man, “Young man, your sins are forgiven.”

21 But the Pharisees and teachers of religious law said to themselves, “Who does he think he is? That’s blasphemy! Only God can forgive sins!”

22 Jesus knew what they were thinking, so he asked them, “Why do you question this in your hearts? 23 Is it easier to say ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or ‘Stand up and walk’? 24 So I will prove to you that the Son of Man[d] has the authority on earth to forgive sins.” Then Jesus turned to the paralyzed man and said, “Stand up, pick up your mat, and go home!”

25 And immediately, as everyone watched, the man jumped up, picked up his mat, and went home praising God. 26 Everyone was gripped with great wonder and awe, and they praised God, exclaiming, “We have seen amazing things today!”

Luke 1 Part 4–Mary’s Confirmation and Celebration

What would you do? Mary, a young teenager and promised bride to be, was visited by an Arch angel. She does not question the Angel’s veracity or even the message.  Still, Mary does what many in her spot would do– she ran to her Aunt Elizabeth to simply ask, “What now?”  There is little doubt that her head was spinning with the overwhelming thoughts of being pregnant, a virgin, betrothed, and carrying the Messiah. 

Then, as she enters the house of Her aunt–wife of one of the Levitical temple servants, ancestor of Aaron. Immediately the future Herald of Christ (John) jumps in his mother’s womb.  Elizabeth was then filled with God’s Spirit and affirms what Mary was already told by Gabriel. One can only imagine the boost that gave the heart of this amazing young woman. 

 Mary responds, according to Luke, with a heart of praise and conviction to carry and raise this Child. She would do so to honor God, fulfill the Abrahamic covenant, and change the world.  Luke’s is the only Gospel that took the time to look at the precursors to the birth of our Lord.  It was an incredible part of the story.  In a time and culture that would have thrown a single mother to the trash heap, God prepared the people who needed to protect and prepare Jesus’s mom for the raising the Son of God.  God would not allow this to happen in any other way. 

Why is it significant?  This back story was reported by the only Gospel writer that was completely independent. He gathered information from many sources to give account for the average seeker that was clear and complete.  Luke thought it was critical for the all to know how widely the world was affected by the life of Christ. As such He looked at family, shepherds, kings, and mystics as they were touched by the Savior.

This story shows believers the absolute passion Mary had for her call.  It adds a clear legitimacy to the life and story of this young woman.  It was not a sweet excuse for a young girl’s mistake, nor was it a fairy tale to authenticate the claims for a misguided rabbi.  It is the clarity for the reality of a very complex event that would change the world.  Jesus is God. He became flesh, and He lived to show the world the heart of God; culminated by His ultimate sacrifice at the cross.

Mary was a singularly critical figure to history because she raised this child. What’s more, she did it with a humble heart and grateful spirit.  We should serve God with a humble heart and grateful spirit as well.  We should model the sacrifice and commitment we have and will see in Luke’s account. The common denominator  is that all involved completed their journey out of their Love of God.  I simply pray that I can have as deep a love for my Lord!

God Bless You 


39 In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, 40 and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. 41 And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, 42 and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. 45 And blessed is she who believed that there would be[g] a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”

Mary’s Song of Praise: The Magnificat

46 And Mary said,

“My soul magnifies the Lord,
47     and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
48 for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant.
    For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed.
49 for he who is mighty has done great things for me,
    and holy is his name.
50 And his mercy is for those who fear him
    from generation to generation.
51 He has shown strength with his arm;
    he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts;
52 he has brought down the mighty from their thrones
    and exalted those of humble estate;
53 he has filled the hungry with good things,
    and the rich he has sent away empty.
54 He has helped his servant Israel,
    in remembrance of his mercy,
55 as he spoke to our fathers,
    to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”

56 And Mary remained with her about three months and returned to her home.