Luke 4: 38 – 44
Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them.
At sunset, the people brought to Jesus all who had various kinds of sickness, and laying his hands on each one, he healed them. Moreover, demons came out of many people, shouting, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew he was the Messiah.
At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, “I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea.
Jesus as Messiah was not going to set up camp in a local community. He was not a priest or a synagogue leader and had no aspirations for such. He called people to follow him, told the rest that the kingdom was near, and lifted the darkness from the lives of those who came to him for help. He was always on the move, going where people had not heard the kingdom preached, had not had their sick and possessed healed and freed. What does this mean for followers of Jesus?
We know that after his resurrection followers of Jesus lived and worked in towns, villages and cities and that discerning the Spirit’s guidance was an individual as well as a communal practice and necessity. We know too that there were those who were sent out by their communities to preach the good news, to heal and exorcise spirits just as Jesus had done, and that they spread out across the civilized world of their day. Following Jesus after his resurrection and ascension was very different from following him while he was walking this earth. Only God knows what He wants of followers of Jesus in the 21st century.
Be open to where the Spirit might lead; be aware that our assumptions about life can impede the Spirit’s work in our lives. Go often to Abba, talk to Jesus, surrender to the Spirit as you become open to a new way of walking in this world. God is not finished with you yet. It is grow or die. So choose the path of transformation, and the Spirit will lead you deeper into the mystery of God living in you, and out into the world as a channel and agent of Christ’s love.
Noon Day Prayers Question
Imagine that Jesus (he or she probably would have a different name) arrived in town and was healing and exorcising all who came to them. Then on Sunday they came to your church and as a notable, respected spiritual teacher, attracted a crowd of newcomers. They gave the sermon and again began healing and exorcising all who asked for freedom. How would you feel? What would you do? You might I suppose invite them to your house afterwards. Imagine being in the presence of this charismatic, loving, powerful person in your own home. Gracious with you, looking deep into your eyes with such light and love, and continuing to touch and transform everyone around you. How would you feel? What would you do? Would you want to follow them when they for the next community, as many others were doing?
Luke 5: 1 – 11
One day as Jesus was standing by the Lake of Gennesaret, the people were crowding around him and listening to the word of God. He saw at the water’s edge two boats left there by the fishermen, who were washing their nets. He got into one of the boats, the one belonging to Simon, and asked him to put out a little from shore. Then he sat down and taught the people from the boat.
When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. So they signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink. When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus’ knees and said, “Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!” For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon’s partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, “Don’t be afraid; from now on you will fish for people.” So they pulled their boats up on shore, left everything and followed him.
The power that created the universe and sustains it, is also available to you, to us, to be God’s recreators, God’s healers, God’s transformers, so that all his lost children might have a chance to see the light, to turn and follow Jesus, to be reunited with their Abba. Abba yearns for a world in which His children live full of love and at peace. He has given us everything in Jesus and is continually pouring Himself into our lives, and in and through us into the lives of others.
Jesus chose his disciples, equipped them by example with his teaching and with the Holy Spirit and then sent them out to be teachers, prophets and healers just like him. By this he fulfilled the mission given him by his Abba, our Abba. He also said, many are called but few are chosen. And, when speaking to his disciples before his crucifixion he pointed out that though they thought they had chosen him, in reality he had chosen them.
Has Jesus chosen you to be his disciple, to follow him? Are you like his disciples led by the Spirit and focused on whatever you are being given to do to help his kingdom come? This Lent, allow the Spirit to lead you deeper into what it means for you personally to be a follower of Jesus. Surrender now to this amazing love and power that is within you and wishes to free you and everyone you know, and so much more!