Thursday, February 26, 2009

people watching

Luke 2:48 Jesus at age 12 replied to his parents concern over his delay to travel home with them, "I had to be about my Father's business." My study guide indicates that this is best translated, "I had to be about my Father." I echo Beth Moore's desire: "I just want to be about God. When all is said and done, I would give my life for people to be able to say, 'She was just about God'... (I want to live my life) in such a way that would cause others to be surprised to find (me) in any other place than to 'be found in him'" (Phil 3:9).
Luke 2:52 "Jesus grew in favor with God and man." Favor...favorite....people liked him. He was the one they wanted to be with. He was the one they wanted at their dinner table. He was the one they wanted to tell their news. He was the one that brought a smile to their face even if he was not with them at the moment. I can think of many friends like that. I could easily list several whom I would categorize as my favorite people. They are the ones I cannot do without, the ones I want to know what's going on with me, the ones whom I learn from and laugh with. They are the ones who make my life complete. I want them all close by. I would rearrange the map if possible to make this true. I wish I could have seen what such interactions looked like with Jesus' friends and family. Someday I will.
Luke 3:4 "Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him." Path in the Greek apparantly means "a beaten pathway." "Make it your practice to approach me over and over again, so that when I am ready to pour out a fresh work, the way will be made clear."
Luke 3 People were flocking to John the Baptist for baptism in the Jordan River. It was the place to be. It was the new religious experience. I'm sure the crowd represented a conglomerate of seekers. Some looking for the Messiah. Some trying out the next new craze. And many, Luke says, who heard John and received his words into their hearts and genuinely repented of their sins. Then at the end of the day, here comes Jesus for whom John has been passionately declaring preparation. Beth draws attention to the symbolism of Jesus being baptized into public ministry in the very waters where the public had been confessing and being baptized in repentance from their sins. Hmmmm. That gives me pause.
The next scene is Jesus' 40 day fast in the wilderness and his earthly encounter with Satan."Think of the questions we...encounter (during) intense battle right after entering a place or time of ministry:
> Did I misunderstand God?
> If He really loves me, why would He appoint me to such a struggle?
> How could this happen after my finest moment with God?"

Jesus was also hungry. Aren't we all?
Parallel applications:
> "Seasons of intense temptation are not indications of God's displeasure.
> Satan is tenacious. Don't expect him to give up after one or two tries.
> Scripture is the most powerful tool in our fight against temptation. Don't fight back with your words, fight back with God's."

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