Here we are again talking about food.
Jesus and His disciples are walking through a field of grain when some of them grab some off the stalks to eat. The problem with this – it’s the Sabbath.
I don’t know enough about the Sabbath rules but the one I do know, you’re not supposed to work.
The eating of the grain here is not the issue. The issue is the disciples, as Luke points out, rubbed the grains with their hands after plucking them off the stalk.
When asked about it, Jesus immediately informs the Pharisees that “The Son of Man is lord of the Sabbath” (Luke 6:1-5).
The Pharisees must have a learning problem because on another Sabbath day, Jesus heals a man and the Pharisees became angry and started discussing what they were going to do with Jesus.
If you’re in Ministry, you know that doing it by yourself is not a great recommendation. It’s hard. Jesus knew that and gave an example of how to be a leader – surround yourself with people who will help.
After a night of prayer, Jesus calls His disciples to Him and chooses twelve men – those He would entrust with helping Him spread the good news of the kingdom of God.
Of the numerous disciples, He chooses these twelve:
- Simon (Peter)
- Andrew, Simon’s brother
- James, son of Alphaeus
- Simon the Zealot
- Judas, son of James
- Judas Iscariot, the traitor
These men, as we will learn about in the future, will find that following Jesus and being in His inner circle, can often bring troubles of their own.
It didn’t bother those Jesus didn’t chose to be one of the twelve since they stayed around wanting to hear Him speak. Standing on a mountain top, He looks at the disciples and says:
Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh.
Blessed are you when people hate you and when they exclude you and revile you and spurn your name as evil, on account of the Son of Man! Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy, for behold, your reward is great in heaven; for so their fathers did to the prophets.
But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you shall mourn and weep. Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets. (Luke 6:20-26)
Love Like Jesus
Still stunned from the woes, Jesus now tells the people “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you.”
This is how one should live, Loving others as Jesus loves. It’s hard, I know. Especially today as tensions around the world looks like it’s going to end at any time. But Jesus just says, Love your Enemies. Oh, and don’t Judge them. Forgive them.
Loving others like Jesus loves them will show the others Jesus in you because a tree is known by its fruit.
Of course, being a follower of Jesus and doing what He says, gives one a strong foundation to weather any storm that comes. Like that of a friend who needs a miracle.
We’re about to see this miracle.
Jesus is entering Caparnaum when some elders of the Jews meet him to inform Him a Centurion’s servant is about to die; the Centurion wants Jesus to come to his home and heal the servant. Feeling unworthy, the Centurion’s friends meet Jesus not far from the home, asking Jesus not to come. Just say the word and my servant will be healed.
I cannot imagine what was going through Jesus’ head at that moment. Whatever it was, it didn’t deter Jesus from healing the servant for the Centurion’s faith was so great in Israel, the servant was healed at that moment.
Luke tells us of many instances of Jesus healing people, like the widow’s son as Jesus was walking to Nain. Jesus uses healings to let His cousin John know He is the One. Then as humble as He can, Jesus tells the crowd that John should be celebrated for he is doing the will of God and his purpose in life. (Luke 7:18-32).
And again, we’re talking about food again.
Jesus is seen as a partier – eating with tax collectors and sinners. It’s at one of these “parties” with a Pharisee no less, that Jesus shows what He really came to Earth for – Forgiveness.
Jesus has been invited to eat at the home of a Pharisee (Simon). While there, a woman of the city, comes in – uninvited – and drenches Jesus with an alabaster jar of ointment and her tears. Years ago I wrote another blog post about this instance, since it’s very close to my heart, so I won’t go into all the details about this interaction other than to say, Simon gets a good chewing out by Jesus and the woman is told to “Go in Peace – Your faith has saved you.” (Luke 7:50).
We’ll see tomorrow how Jesus loves to tell stories. Join me?