Matthew 9:9-13; John 3:16-18, 15:12-15; Romans 5:6-11
We usually fall short of understanding just how very good the gospel’s Good News is. So, just how good is that good news? Here are a few words: Incredibly good. Amazingly good. Wonderful, spectacular, unbelievable, unimaginable, breathtaking . . . and you can add many more along these lines.
And, when you understand your real condition as it is described in these verses, the condition is bad. We were sinful, evil, ungodly, enemies, rebels, and those whose natural habitat was darkness. That is the kind of people Jesus came to save. This is the kind of people Jesus suffered and died for. This was YOU.
But here is the mystery. Even though that is who you were, You Were Worth It to Jesus. You matter. You have value. You are pursued. You are wanted. There is something about you and there is something about Jesus that brought forth the most astonishing search and rescue operation in the history of humanity. And then the most amazing transformation project, as rebels became friends. As enemies became family. As the ungodly were remade into the image of their Savior.
Oh yes, and then Jesus mentioned, “Love one another with the same kind of love I have for you.”
So, how are you doing? How are you doing at living in the strong, deep love of Jesus? Living with joy and freedom? And then, how are you doing at loving others (including your enemies), loving them like Jesus loved you, and like Jesus loves them?
As you read each chapter this week, keep these reflection questions in mind:
- What does this chapter teach me about Jesus’ character?
- What does this chapter teach me about what Jesus is doing?
- What difference will reading this chapter make in my life?
- What does this chapter tell me about what Jesus wants from me?
Then pray and look to “practice the presence and pursue the purposes of Jesus” according to what you have read.
This chapter is packed with many miracles of Jesus! We see over and over again how Jesus responds in compassion to people who believe in him. Check out how amazed he was in verse 9 at the simple faith of the centurion. Or in verse 13 when he sees the grieving widow. Or the grace he shows the woman who anoints him with perfume. What does his behavior in Luke 7 teach you about Jesus?
Luke 8 reminds us there are many people who hear about Jesus, but not everybody receives his message. For those who do, abundance and flourishing are the result. What does verse 21 teach you about those who receive his message? How does Jesus feel about those people?
Jesus is continuing to travel, performing miracles, healing the sick, and teaching his followers. But there is a cost to following Jesus. The Jesus Way does not mean things will be easy. Verses 57-62 reminds us that following Jesus can be costly. Is there anything you need to give up to better follow Jesus?
Just like we saw in his conversation with Nicodemus in John 3, Jesus is revealing more about who he is. But this time he reveals more about himself to a person who would have been despised for her gender, her culture, and her past. What does this chapter teach you about who Jesus finds worthy?
- Songs We Sing
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