Jesus brings change to the existing status quo. How do we feel about that? What is our response?
“Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit.”
“…he went to the meeting place. When He stood up to read, he was handed the scroll of the prophet Isaiah. Unrolling the scroll, he found the place where it was written, God’s Spirit is on me; he’s chosen me to preach the Message of good news to the poor, sent me to announce pardon to prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, To set the burdened and battered free, to announce, ‘This is God’s year to act!’ “
“You’ve just heard Scripture make history. It came true just now in this place.” [Luke 4, The Message]
In the early days of Jesus’ ministry He stands up and declares something which Isaiah had prohesied. TODAY!…. again we read how Jesus’ life and ministry moves away from the predictable and respectable to giving all but the religious gang a sure and certain hope! A reason to be glad.
The religious response to this declaration and subsequent discussion was…..wait for it. They wanted to drive him out of town in order to push him down a cliff. Why? Because they did not like what He was saying. He was announcing to them that salvation was to be offered to the Gentiles. This is far too radical and hence their response to him. Change can bring uncertainty and fear may follow but who better to trust if He is leading the procession!
OTHER ‘UNPREDICTABLE’ ACTIONS!
Jesus went on to Capernaum and on the sabbath began to teach the people as one having authority. And then he drove out a demon with a word in the same meeting. Eek!! This is not the kind of experience we want to have in our meetings! Ernst Kasemann, a German scholar remarks, “What causes most trouble for Christians of all ages is not legalism or lack of faith or theological controversies; it is Jesus Himself, who bestows freedom so openhandedly and dangerously on those who do not know what to do with it. The Church always gets so panic-stricken for fear of the turmoil that Christ creates when He comes on the scene; and so it takes His freedom under its own management for the protection of the souls entrusted to it, in order to dispense it in homeopathic doses when it seems necessary.”
GIVING OF OURSELVES
I am deeply moved over and over again as Jesus’ feet are washed by a woman ‘who had lived a sinful life’ I revel in the fact that I too can do this in my gratitude to Jesus for all He is and what He is doing in my own life. Her act of pure worship and appreciation through outpoured perfume and the washing of Jesus’ feet affects us all.
The greedy and self-focussed see it as a waste of money! The religious fear it and frown upon this as something to be avoided! While for those who have learned to enjoy Father’s extravagant love see it as the simple expression of a forgiven woman!
These acts of mercy and grace make the respectable squirm. Jesus Christ today drives out demons, heals the sick, feeds the hungry and has time for little children saying that we must become like them if we want to see the Kingdom – just as He did when He walked on the earth.