I’ve always loved the story of Lazarus. I mean, who doesn’t love a good man-raised-from-the-dead tale?
I wonder how Lazarus felt about it?
We’re usually okay with folks hearing our success stories. But how do we feel about the people who witness the whole fall from grace?
We are happy to emerge from the wreckage to the cheers from the crowds. But how do we feel around the ones who watched us crash and burn?
We are often embarrassed about our stories. We feel awkward or ashamed around the ones who were there when our children went astray, our marriages fell apart, our personal sins found us out, our car was repossessed, that unexpected pregnancy became known, or we caved to that addiction once again.
Do you know who continued to bear witness to what Jesus had done in Lazarus’ life? It was the ones who had been there when Jesus called him from grave to grace. It was the ones who saw him step into daylight with the stench of death still lingering.
We want the pomp of the resurrection but not the pain of the death, but it’s a package deal. It’s painful; there’s no way around it. Just remember, it’s pain with a purpose. We have to let some things in our lives die so that God can do a work in us.
Don’t be afraid to endure death in order to experience resurrection. God has a plan for you, my friend. It’s good because He is good and it ends in freedom.
You are loved. ❤
Jesus sent the disciples on a mission and His instructions were very clear.
Heal the sick.
Raise the dead.
Cast out demons.
Yet, just a short time after departing on their journey, they encounter a man with a sick son. And the result is puzzling.
I begged your disciples to cast out the spirit but they could not. Luke 9:40
I brought him to your disciples but they could not heal him. Matthew 17:16
Even the disciples are confused. “Why couldn’t we do it?” they asked Jesus. The answer was just as simple as the mission.
Because of their little faith.
A lack of faith will prevent us from fulfilling our God-given missions. Our ministries will be unfruitful. Our witnesses will be ineffective. Our spirits will be unsatisfied.
What is God calling you to do?
You are loved. ❤
Just a couple days ago, we read about Jesus sending disciples to John in prison to tell what they had seen Jesus do and what they had heard Him say.
In today’s reading, we have Jesus telling the healed man to “go home and tell your friends what the Lord has done for you.”
We also have the woman in Luke 8 who wanted to slip away after her healing. Jesus, however, wouldn’t move on until she came forward and told her story.
Have you ever struggled with telling your testimony? Ever wondered what that even means? Think your story isn’t interesting enough or, perhaps, too interesting? Those are all thoughts from the enemy trying to keep you silent. Someone else needs to hear your story!
Luke 8:47 is a great outline for telling your own story. (Why she had touched Him and how He healed her.)
History + Healing = Testimony
Everyone in this parable hears the Word. The difference comes in what happens next.
The first one doesn’t understand what they’ve heard. (This is where good, biblically sound teaching and preaching comes into play.)
The second one doesn’t accept it for themselves. (This is where we need to be praying and studying for ourselves so that we can hear God speak to us.)
The third one doesn’t cling to it when faced with the temptations and trials of the world. (This is where a community is helpful. We can encourage one another, hold one another accountable and be a source of support.)
The fourth understands it, accepts it and clings to it.
You are loved. ❤
In just the first week of being in the New Testament, we are seeing for the third time one person desperately pleading with Jesus on behalf of another.
First, we had people praying for Simon’s ill mother in law in Mark.
Then, in Luke, we had friends literally carrying their friend to Jesus – bearing the physical burden for someone who did not have the strength to carry himself to the healer.
Now, we have the centurion pleading with Jesus on behalf of his servant.
Also, in today’s reading, we have John asking his disciples (from prison) if Jesus was the one for whom they had been waiting. Jesus could have gone himself but he tells the disciples to go and tell what THEY had seen and heard.
People need to hear what we have seen God do in our lives and what we have learned.
Both of these (praying for others and sharing our testimonies) show that we are meant to live in community. We need one another!
Gospel living is “go and tell.”