Following Jesus Is Not Always Comfortable, But It’s Worth It

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 9:51-62.  Let’s go!

Luke 9:51-56 (NIV) 

51  As the time approached for him to be taken up to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. 
52  And he sent messengers on ahead, who went into a Samaritan village to get things ready for him; 
53  but the people there did not welcome him, because he was heading for Jerusalem. 
54  When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, “Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?” 
55  But Jesus turned and rebuked them, 
56  and they went to another village.

On verses 51-56:  Why did the Samaritan village reject Jesus because Jesus was heading for Jerusalem?  It’s because culturally Jews and Samaritans did not associate with one another and considered one another enemies.  The Samaritans rejected Jesus based on the fact that Jesus and his disciples were Jews heading to the Jewish city of Jerusalem.  Fueled by anger and pride, two of Jesus’ closest disciples, James and John, offer to call fire down from heaven to destroy the Samaritan village that didn’t welcome them.  No wonder Jesus gave James and John the nicknames “sons of thunder” (Mark 3:17).  However, Jesus rebukes them for this suggestion and they move on.

Jesus’ Heart for Children

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 9:37-50.  Let’s go!

Luke 9:37-45 (NIV) 

37  The next day, when they came down from the mountain, a large crowd met him. 
38  A man in the crowd called out, “Teacher, I beg you to look at my son, for he is my only child. 
39  A spirit seizes him and he suddenly screams; it throws him into convulsions so that he foams at the mouth. It scarcely ever leaves him and is destroying him. 
40  I begged your disciples to drive it out, but they could not.”
41  “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you? Bring your son here.”
42  Even while the boy was coming, the demon threw him to the ground in a convulsion. But Jesus rebuked the evil spirit, healed the boy and gave him back to his father…….

On verses 37-45:  There are a number of important lessons we can learn from these verses.  I look forward to sharing them with you at a Thrive service today.

Jesus is Greater

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 9:18-36.  Let’s go!
Luke 9:18-21 (NIV) 
18  Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, “Who do the crowds say I am?” 
19  They replied, “Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life.” 
20  “But what about you?” he asked. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” 
21  Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone.
On verses 18-21:  The most important question you will ever need to answer is the question Jesus asked here, which is: who do you say Jesus is?  My prayer is that the more you get to know Jesus, like Peter you will come to the same conclusion, which is that Jesus is not just a legend, a fiction, a good person, or a famous prophet, but that Jesus is the Messiah (the Christ) and the one we need.  It matters to God who you think Jesus is. 

Rely on God’s Power (Also, When God Interrupts Your Plans)

Hi GAMErs,
Today’s passage is Luke 9:1-17.  Let’s go!
Luke 9:1-4 (NIV) 
1  When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, 
2  and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. 
3  He told them: “Take nothing for the journey–no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. 
4  Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. 

On verses 1-4:  Here Jesus sends out his twelve disciples with his power and authority to go from town to town preaching the kingdom of God, driving out all demons and curing diseases (v1-2).  But notice also that Jesus told them to take nothing else for the journey (“no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic” – v3).  What was Jesus doing?  Jesus was teaching his disciples to have faith in God’s power to use them and to provide for their needs, rather than relying on their own smarts, strength and resources. 

God Works With Your Faith

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 8:40-56.  Let’s go!

Luke 8:40 (NIV) 
40  Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him.

On verse 40:  In the verses just before this the people of the Garasenes rejected Jesus and told him to go away.  Here another crowd is expecting him and welcoming him.  Likewise, we too need to choose: will we be among those who reject Jesus and push him away, or will we welcome Jesus into our lives?

Luke 8:41-42 (NIV) 
41  Then a man named Jairus, a ruler of the synagogue, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house
42  because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying. As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him.

Don’t Push Jesus Away

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 8:26-39.  Let’s go!
Luke 8:26-33 (NIV) 
26  They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. 
27  When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 
28  When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 
29  For Jesus had commanded the evil spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places. 

Listening to God’s Word Means

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 8:16-25.  Let’s go!
Luke 8:16-18 (NIV) 
16  “No one lights a lamp and hides it in a jar or puts it under a bed. Instead, he puts it on a stand, so that those who come in can see the light. 
17  For there is nothing hidden that will not be disclosed, and nothing concealed that will not be known or brought out into the open. 
18  Therefore consider carefully how you listen. Whoever has will be given more; whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken from him.”

On verses 16-18:  After telling a parable about the importance of having a hungry, humble heart when listening to God’s word (verses 1-15), what is Jesus talking about in verses 16-18?  When Jesus says in verse 18, “Thereforeconsider carefully how you listen”, this suggests to me that verses 16, 17 and 18 are also talking about how to listen to God’s word.

Jesus and Women ( 4 Heart Conditions)

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 8:1-15.  Let’s go!

Luke 8:1-3 (NIV) 
1  After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 
2  and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 
3  Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
On verses 1-3:  In addition to Jesus’ 12 disciples, here in verses 2-3 we get our first look at the women who walked alongside Jesus as he ministered from town to town.  These women came from various backgrounds – Mary Magdalene came from a broken past; Joanna was a high ranking administrator who managed King Herod’s household.  However, one thing they all had in common was that they all were impacted by Jesus’ ministry in some way: some had been battling demons which Jesus delivered them from; others had diseases which Jesus healed.  What touches me in verse 3 is that many women supported Jesus’ ministry out of their own means.

The Key to Loving Jesus A Lot

Hi GAMErs,
Today’s passage is Luke 7:24-35.  Let’s go!

Luke 7:36-50 (NIV) 
36  Now one of the Pharisees invited Jesus to have dinner with him, so he went to the Pharisee’s house and reclined at the table. 
37  When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, 
38  and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them. 
39  When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is–that she is a sinner.” 
40  Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to tell you.” “Tell me, teacher,” he said. ……

On verses 36-50:  Here we see one of the most beautiful and intimate acts of worship that anyone would show Jesus during his time on earth.  While Jesus is having dinner at the home of a Pharisee called Simon, a woman shows up having come from a notoriously sinful past and brings with her an alabaster jar of expensive perfume.  She wets Jesus’ feet with her tears, wipes them with her hair, kisses them and pours perfume on them.  Simon the Pharisee is appalled by this woman and also by the way Jesus receives her offering.  In response, Jesus tells Simon a parable about forgiving debts and how the more we realize just how much God has forgiven us, the more we will respond to God with humble service and great affection.

Living for Heaven’s Praise

Hi GAMErs,

Today’s passage is Luke 7:24-35.  Let’s go!

Luke 7:24-27 (NIV) 
24  After John’s messengers left, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: “What did you go out into the desert 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.’ 

On verses 24-27:  Jesus’ friendship with John was one typified by mutual honour and respect.  Despite both of them being the most prolific preachers Israel had ever seen, there was seemingly no competition between Jesus and John.  Whether in private or in public, Jesus and John honoured one another. We see an example of this here as Jesus backs up his cousin John at a time when John was imprisoned for speaking out against King Herod’s incestuous relationship with Herodias.  Many in the crowd listening to Jesus were likely followers of John who were now following Jesus, just as John encouraged them to do (John 1:35-37).  Listen to what Jesus says of John.