Jesus loves and forgives deeply!
Luke continues to share stories from Jesus’s ministry. This week our drama introduces a women who has been immersed in brokenness sin. She demonstrates deep expressions of love and remorse as she touches Jesus... on his feet. Jesus frees her by saying “Your sins are forgiven, go in peace.” Jesus’ words give rest.
Questions to ponder:
- Name all the persons in this story. Who are you most like? Imagine what each person did after this meal.
- What does a person have to do for God to forgive their sins? What do you have to do to invite a family member or friend to forgive you?
- Name 10 ways that you can show another person that you love and respect them.
Rest is dancing with fire!
In the past 2 weeks we read about Jesus healing the centurion’s slave and raising the widow’s son. Now John the Baptist’s disciples come to ask, “Who is Jesus?” Jesus tells them to look at the evidence of his ministry and the content of what is being preached. He points to those who have rejected him saying, “You did not dance when I played the flute or cry when I sang a funeral song”. The evidence and proof that Jesus is from God is right before the people and the Jewish leaders if they want to see it. Jesus invites John’s disciples - and us - to consider the evidence and then to follow Christ, or walk away.
Questions to Ponder:
- Who do you believe? Why? Who do you not believe? Why?
- If you would have seen the young man raised from the dead would you have followed Jesus? What would make you turn away from Jesus?
- What did John the Baptists disciples tell him when they returned? What do we tell each other about our faith? What parts do we leave out?
Where is your great faith? Luke 7:1-10.
Jesus moves out of the teaching phase that we have found in Luke 6 and illustrates an example of placing his teachings into practice. Perhaps there is fore-shadowing here helping us to realize that this message of good news is for all people: even a Roman soldier and his servant. The soldier appeals to Jesus in faith trusting that his valued servant will be healed. He illustrates faith by telling Jesus to “ just give the command” and his servant will be healed.
Notice that Jesus never meets the ill servant or the trusting master. We are only told their positions and not given there names. Jesus does not touch or pray over the ill person. There is no record of Jesus speaking words of healing. We are just told that the servant is well. I can imagine that the Roman soldier rested well once his faithful servant was feeling better. I can imagine that the entire household and the soldiers under the commander rested well when this valued and trusted person once again knew health.
What role does active faith play in our lives? How do we arrive at a healthy balance of faith verses planning and preparation? Is faith only for the times when all other options no longer work?
Questions to ponder:
- Why did Luke record a roman soldier having faith rather than a Jewish leader?
-What are the different meanings of “faith”? Are you a person of faith? Do you walk by faith? How could you illustrate faith with a real life example?
-What is Jesus asking us to do with this account of the Roman centurion? Where could you have stronger faith? How could a stronger faith move from an idea to reality?