Turning Their Back on Jesus
From hero to castaway in a few short sentences...that’s what we get a glimpse of as we travel in Jesus’ shoes through Luke 4. Jesus was operating in full Holy Spirit anointing and power and then??? Then he came to his hometown and started preaching. The crowds started to turn because what He said didn’t feel so good.
What did He say? Though He came fully packing the power of God and reports spread quickly about Him (Luke 4:14), He was not accepted in His own hometown as a prophet (Luke 4:24). He spoke of the miracles and favor of God that He came to bring and the people who’d known Him His whole life wanted to throw Him over the cliff. They couldn’t see His anointing; they wouldn’t accept His power; they rejected Him as Christ the Lord.
What Will You Do With Jesus?
What happens in those places in our lives when Jesus comes close and starts to want to switch things up a bit? To make some change? To bring a little upheaval to the way we’ve grown accustom to things being in our hearts? Even as those that know Christ, sometimes we want to toss Him over the cliff in our lives because what He says requires something of us we are unwilling to give up.
The sad part is this: here in Luke as the crowd jumped up, mobbed him and tried to shove Jesus over the cliff, Jesus just “passed right through the crowd and went on His way...” (Luke 4:30). What a sad ending to a potentially life-altering story!! Jesus goes on to other towns and demons flee from distraught lives at His command and “no matter what their diseases were, the touch of His hand healed every one...” (Luke 4:40)
Is He Welcome to Stay or Is Jesus Just Passing Through?
The question begs to be asked: Am I more comfortable in the life I’ve arranged for myself with all the furniture of my heart just where I want it? Or do I want Jesus to come in and so rearrange things that my previous heart space is unrecognizable--but I’m healed!! But I’m delivered!! But I’m walking with Jesus and able to see and understand what is really going on in my life.
Do I want to live in the life-changing Presence of Jesus? Or do I want Him to just be passing through because of my angry rejection and arrogant unwillingness to truly look at my heart?
Jesus, perfect prophet, come and speak to me. Give me ears to listen. And come and stay and make your home with me! Let my heart be your home as I live for you in Bend, Oregon.
We just have to be obedient for today; that is all we are accountable for. Each minute asking God to give us grace to make the right choices. Each right decision builds on the one before it. Soon, godly habits are formed and a life that honors God is the result. To finish the race -by and because of His great grace. To walk in His embrace and love because He first loved us. It's not complex; the walk of obedience is quite simple.
Easy however? I would not necessarily describe it as easy...unless we daily know His love, His power, His inheritance (that's available to us this minute-today!!! Incredibly enough!!) and not just know it in our heads BUT access it with our lives through prayer. No life will ever be the same when we learn to live with our full access pass to "every spiritual blessing in heavenly places" like Ephesians says. There's no time like now to obey, gain access, and walk in the divine enablement He created us to walk in.
Let's be the divine appointment He has called us to be, live as He's called us to live today, and "redeem" (properly use) the time we've been given to make His heart known today in our homes and to our world. Like one wall in Bend says, "All we have is now." As far as obeying, that is as far as you can take it. Obedience now produces a life of great grace and an eternity laden with mind-blowing blessings.
Shanda Harris is a lover of Jesus, dedicated wife, mother of 6 and the Women's Pastor at Epikos Church in Bend, Oregon.