Thursday, May 17, 2012

JESUS' REACTION(S)...[Book of Luke]

Part three of this series is Luke and his contributions to showing us additional reactions by Jesus.  Let us observe these and attempt to glean some deeper understanding.
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An early reaction from Jesus came when He stayed behind in the Temple after He had visited Jerusalem with His "parents" for Passover.  Mary and Joseph came looking for Him and when they found Him His reaction was "Why were you searching for me?  Didn't you know I had to be in my Father's house?"  (Luke 2:49)  Born by the power of the Holy Spirit, Jesus knows His true identity at an early age.  He questions Mary and Joseph's looking for Him almost sarcastically, challenging His need for their protection.  Then He questioned their lack of knowledge on where to look for Him in the beginning - The Temple, His Father's House.  Jesus was 12 years old here and comes across kinda cocky (albeit Holy, which He can pull off anytime perfectly) to me here because Mary and Joseph didn't understand and "Then he went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them."  After this event, the reader does not pick up Jesus' life until much later when He is starting His ministry around age 30.  I'll call this reaction a Holy Confidence in who He knew Himself to be - The Son of God. 
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Jesus was calm, cool, and collected in Luke 4:28-30 because He knew the time had not arrived for Him to die and this definitely was not the manner in which He would die for the sins of the world.  "All the people in the synagogue were furious when they heard this.  They got up, drove him out of the town, and took him to the brow of the hill on which the town was built, in order to throw him down the cliff.  But he walked right through the crowd and went on his way."
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Jesus was stern in calling out a demon.  Luke 4:35 records, "'Be quiet!'  Jesus said sternly.  'Come out of him!'"
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It is not often you see Jesus amazed.  However, in Luke 7:9 it states, "When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, he said, 'I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel.'"  Wow!  Christ is amazed and gives out an incredible compliment - rare.
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Jesus reacts with sympathy and probably empathy too in Luke 7:13 where it says, "When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, 'Don't cry.'"  This woman had lost a husband and was on her way to bury her only son when Jesus came along.  Go to the passage for the rest of the story.
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This next reaction we probably needed to have been there to hear Jesus' tone.  However, reading the entire account of Luke 7:36-50, the main verse (7:40) comes across as a little sarcastic.  A tone that you would use with someone in a teachable moment.  The verse reads, "Jesus answered him, 'Simon, I have something to tell you.'" Jesus goes on to tell the Pharisee, whom He was staying with, how he was missing the mark.  Simon missed all the cultural traditions of being a good host.  Washing off someone's feet, greeting them with a kiss, and anointing them with oil was a good way to treat someone in your home.  Simon struck-out on all of these and the "sinful woman" (John identifies her as Mary), present in the house, gave all she had because of her blessing from the Lord.......home-run.
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Another example of Holy Confidence is found in Luke 8:22-25, specifically verses 24-25.  The whole passage reads - 

"One day Jesus said to his disciples, 'Let's go over to the other side of the lake.' So they got into a boat and set out.  As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.  The disciples went and woke him, saying, 'Master, Master, we're going to drown!' He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm.  'Where is your faith?' he asked his disciples. In fear and amazement they asked one another, 'Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.'" 

With all that was going on - weather, tossing of the boat, activity of the men - Jesus had to be awakened.  That says a lot in and of itself right there.  If Jesus is sleeping (who said God never slumbers) and not worried about anything then why should any of them.  I hear the song "Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus" in my head right now.  The main verses, 24-25, state, "He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 'Where is your faith?' he asked his disciples."  Jesus knew His Father, Jesus knew Himself, and Jesus knew His men - Holy Confidence.
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We see Jesus showing an authoritative reaction to demon control in Luke 8:32 when "The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the [pigs], and he gave them permission."   
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Luke's account of Peter's Confession of Christ is different (Luke 9:18-27).  Luke's take does not report Peter receiving praise from Jesus about Father God's revelation that Jesus is the Son of God.  Instead, the next verse says, "Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone." (v.21)  Why would Jesus not desire His Disciples not to speak of The Plan?  Could talking about The Mission jeopardize it in some way?  Whether we can answer these questions right now or not, the fact that "Jesus strictly warned them not to tell this to anyone" shows me that Jesus was focused on Father God's Purpose for His life - the salvation of the world.
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Ever wish somebody you care about would just lay their job aside for a few precious moments and spend some quality time with you?  Jesus knows how you feel.  That is how I picture Jesus feeling about Martha when she said about her sister Mary - "'Lord don't you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself?  Tell her to help me!'" (Luke 10:40)  If I was answering Martha, my first inclination would be to "bark" back something at equal or greater tone, volume, and harshness.  However, observe the reaction of Jesus.  "'Martha, Martha you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her."  In this verse, all I needed to read and all I needed to hear in my spiritual ear was Jesus saying, "Martha, Martha"Gentleness is communicated through calling out her name like this and then proceeding to explain the situation.  I hear Proverbs 15:1 again - "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger."  
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Jesus shows us He is fed up with the Pharisees and the teachers of the Law by administering many woeful statements unto them in Luke 11:39-52.
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Jesus again displays a sick and tired reaction toward a synagogue ruler concerning his double standard in Luke 13:15.  Jesus associates him with the rest of the Pharisees and teachers of the Law when He says, "'You hypocrites!.....'"    
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Have you ever heard the song by Matthew Wilder - "Break My Stride"?  If you have not, look it up and listen to it, it's fun.  Lyrics in the song say, "Ain't nothing gonna break my stride, no one is gonna slow me down, oh no, I've got to keep on moving!"  In Luke 13:31-33 it states, "At that time some Pharisees came to Jesus and said to him, 'Leave this place and go somewhere else. Herod wants to kill you.'  He replied, 'Go tell that fox, 'I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.'  In any case, I must keep going today and tomorrow and the next day--for surely no prophet can die outside Jerusalem!" Ain't nobody gonna break Jesus' stride, ain't nobody gonna slow Him down!  That's Holy Persistence for you!
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Jesus sounds like a news reporter out in the field gathering information in Luke 17:17-18"Jesus asked, 'Were not all ten cleansed? Where are the other nine?  Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?'" When Jesus asks this many questions back-to-back-to back I "stare" a little harder at Jesus.  For the situation at hand and how Jesus reacts to it with this many questions, I see Him reacting in a state of wonder.  He also reacts by rewarding the one who returned to give praise where praise is due.  "'Was no one found to return and give praise to God except this foreigner?'  Then he said to him, 'Rise and go; your faith has made you well.'"   
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Have you ever been asked a question, then as you were drawing your breath to reply - the person who asked the question says, "Let me answer that for you."?  Then the person proceeds to tell you how IT (the situation) is in a short synopsis or a long, detailed scenario.  Guess what?  (I'll give you time to say, "What?")  Jesus did this too!  Take a look at Luke 18:18-19"A certain ruler asked him, 'Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?' 'Why do you call me good?'  Jesus answered. 'No one is good--except God alone.'"  If you read the rest of the passage, verses 20-30, you will find that there is no response from the rich ruler concerning Jesus' question - "Why do you call me good?". This is because Jesus answered it with - "'No one is good--except God alone.'" (He was saying, HINT, HINT - I'M GOD IN FLESH!).  Jesus' reaction to the rich ruler's initial question ("Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?") was a quick, sharp, question and answer set-up response
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In Luke 19:45-46 we see Jesus upset at the condition of His Father's House. 
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How about this one?  Have you ever "played" the I will, if you will- game with anyone in your life?  Jesus played this game the best of all!  And when Jesus plays, He always wins!  Consider Luke 20:1-8 - 

"One day as he was teaching the people in the temple courts and preaching the gospel, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him.  'Tell us by what authority you are doing these things,' they said. 'Who gave you this authority?'  He replied, 'I will also ask you a question. Tell me, John's baptism--was it from heaven, or from men?'  They discussed it among themselves and said, 'If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Why didn't you believe him?'  But if we say, 'From men,' all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet."  So they answered, 'We don't know where it was from."  Jesus said, 'Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.'"  

Jesus was so discerning, crafty, and cunning in His reaction to this inquiry.  I laugh out loud at the Pharisees every time I read this passage and how they were always wanting to trap Jesus in His words and now Jesus gave them some of their own "medicine". 
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Many of us are geared toward Food, Fun, and Fellowship!  I know I like events where all three are combined.  I doubt Jesus would call this next episode fun, but it did comprise food and fellowship and for that I believe Jesus said to His Disciples - "'I have eagerly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.'" (Luke 22:14)  Jesus greatly anticipated or looked forward to a meal with His inner-circle.
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In response to just a selection of people seeing Jesus risen from the dead, Jesus appears to the rest of the group of Disciples (Luke 24:36-49).  Here He confirms to them He is not a ghost but a resurrected body able to be touched and partake of food - "'Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself ! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.'  When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet.  And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, 'Do you have anything here to eat?'  They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate it in their presence."(verses 39-43)  
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Those are the major reactions of Jesus that I noticed in Luke.  John's submissions to this cause are next so keep locked into - JESUS' REACTION(S) and be blessed.