Today’s readings.. (Leviticus 21), (Psalms 120,121,122,123,124), (Luke 4)

The Apostle Paul told Timothy, “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost.” [1 Tim 1 v.15] That salvation was only possible through his sacrifice on the cross, a sacrifice that brought an end to all the sacrifices of animals and the use of their blood on the altar that we have been reading about in Leviticus.

But that was not the only reason Jesus came into the world! The point is very clearly made in today’s chapter in Luke (11). As Jesus moved around Israel many were attracted by his healings. “…all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on them …and healed them … The people … would have kept him from leaving them, but he said to them. ‘I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.”

[v.40,42,43] But were they listening to “the good news”? The people of Capernaum, in particular, who had been “exalted to heaven” [Luke 10 v.15] by their witnessing of heavenly deeds and hearing his message, were rejected for their failure to change their lives and really follow him.

After Jesus rose from the dead he showed he was alive “by many proofs, appearing to them during 40 days and speaking about the kingdom of God.” {Acts 1 v.3] The Apostles continued his message; note how the very last verse in Acts tells us that Paul was “proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness …”

This message was an integral part of the Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the meek for they shall inherit the earth” [Matt. 5 v.5] The way the meek, i.e., the gentle minded, will inherit the earth is for Jesus to return and establish his kingdom on the earth.

Those who decide to follow Jesus must have this purpose also – sharing his message of hope for our ever more troubled world. Let us not be attracted and distracted by the essentially purpose-less pursuits of the world around us but show by what we say and do that we are following in his footsteps.


* Click verse text to see cross references.
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