‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to let the oppressed go free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.’
Then his mother and his brothers came to him, but they could not reach him because of the crowd. And he was told, ‘Your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to see you.’ But he said to them, ‘My mother and my brothers are those who hear the word of God and do it.’
BACKGROUND: These opening verses (Luke 4) are a kind of purpose statement from Jesus as He began to launch His ministry in the town of Nazareth. And this purpose statement angered and divided the hometown crowd. The later verses (Luke 19) have Jesus leaping over ‘bloodline’ or ‘family’ considerations and into WAYfarer mode.
Very often we Christians are taught to value and hold ‘beliefs.’ Here Jesus places a high value on ‘doing.’
Q. Can you think of concrete examples of where you are ‘doing’ Jesus? Be specific.
‘This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.
The word ‘love’ is commonly used and much bandied about. It can be used both as a noun or a verb. Here Jesus seems to be using love in the active sense (verb, giving of oneself for the benefit of another).
Q. Think back over the activities of one day this week. What was your motivation for doing them?
How many of those activities were done to fulfill my personal desires?
Which activities were carried out for the benefit of another?
How activities of love were extended beyond my immediate family?
For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’ It is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God…
These 3 sentences from Romans 8 suggest a movement from slavery/bondage/fear to adoption/freedom.
If you could retrace your footprints during the last week would there be a pattern?… a direction?
Is my relationship with God dependent or inter-dependent?
Would I rather be a ‘child of God’ or an ‘adult of God?’ What’s the difference? ?