106. “Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in Heaven.” -Luke 10:20 Context: Luke 10:17-20
This verse comes from a very specific passage involving 70 people that Jesus sent out on a limited mission. We can learn from it, but we should not rip verses out of their4 context and claim them as promises for today. For instance, in verse 4 Jesus told them to go without money, supplies, or sandals. That was obviously for those on that limited mission trip, because people we see on mission trips in the book of Acts are not seen doing likewise. Some have used verse 19 to justify snake handling as a form of worship. Such careless use of scripture is ridiculous! But there is a timeless gem in verse 20 we are intended to draw a great principle from. As Christians we are to rejoice in the fact that our names are written in Heaven! We don’t rejoice because we did or didn’t see results from our gospel efforts, or because we did or didn’t see great miracles happen. Sometimes we will see tangible success from our efforts, other times we will not. In God’s economy our main efforts may have been prayers that will won’t be fully answered for generations to come. We are to rejoice primarily in our salvation which is secure in Christ regardless of how God chooses to use our efforts. Jesus’ words to them and to us are such a blessing. They had seen God move greatly, but Jesus knew there would be times when they would wonder if they made any impact at all. And so He told them and us to rejoice not in our fickle circumstances, but in our salvation!
107. “So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?” And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.” Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.” -Luke 10:36-37 Context: Luke 10:25-37
Religious status means nothing if you don’t help people. The religious people didn’t help the man with the need, but the Good Samaritan did! You may have walked an aisle, been baptized, regularly attended church, taken classes, memorized scripture and even held church positions. If you don’t love and help people in Jesus’ name, you’ve missed one of the key things our faith is about. Galatians 5:6 says, “In Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision avails anything, but faith working through love.” Titus 3:14 says, “Let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.” Do you love Jesus? Then love others in His name, even people from radically different backgrounds then your own.
108. And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken from her.” -Luke 10:41-42 Context: Luke 10:38-42
What great verses! Jesus is not saying that details don’t need to be dealt with. They do. But when it is time to hear from Jesus, we need to stop what we are doing and hear from Jesus! Maybe Martha had fallen prey to societal expectations that the women folk needed to be getting the next meal ready while the men folk dealt with religious things. Jesus’ words make clear He wanted everybody to hear what He teaches and experience Him. What a shame that so many of us go through a day frantically, like chickens with our heads cut off, consumed with the next thing we have to do. We all need to cultivate time to sit at Jesus’ feet and hear from Him, and let His Spirit shine the light of His Word on our day so we can see more clearly how to serve Him. These are also great verses for worship services we attend. We need to put ou of our mind other things so we can receive the Word that is preached to us!
109. And it happened, as He spoke these things, that a certain woman from the crowd raised her voice and said to Him, “Blessed is the womb that bore You, and the breasts which nursed You.” But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the Word of God and keep it.” -Luke 11:27-28
How sad it must make Jesus to see some come close to worshipping Mary, or describing her as a Co-Redeemer with Jesus. One Pope even wore on his robe a sash that said, “totally devoted to you, Mary.” Listen up: Do NOT venerate a person! Do NOT think you need to go through any saint to get to God. And realize this: the one who is blessed is the one who hears God’s Word and does what it says! Mary did that. She was an example of a godly woman. But Jesus is the One to glorify, along with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, our Triune God!
110. And He (Jesus) said, “Woe to you also, lawyers! For you load men with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not touch the burdens with one of your fingers.” -Luke 11:46 Context: Luke 11:37-52
Lawyers here refers to a type of religious lawyer, who along with the Pharisees carefully made sure they understood what the Law said. They loved to be bosses over people, and added in many restrictive rules for the little people to follow on top of the simplicity of Old Testament teaching. Jesus here rebukes them for loading burdensome “extras” on God’s people. Some religious leaders today do similar things, expecting “their” people to carry out their every whim in the name of Jesus. Jesus here makes clear that any leader who isn’t a servant at heart and in practice isn’t worth following. I once helped a family move their belongings (their very heavy belongings) off of a moving truck and into their house while their very able-bodied Pastor ate pizza in the living room. Such things should not be!