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The Forty: Day Five

Devotional 5: The Spirit Heals

Scripture Reading: Luke 6:17-26

 

In the beginning of this passage, we continue to see Jesus as a powerful healer with many followers. This was a sight and scene that the world had never experienced in all of history.  Did Jesus know that His disciples might get caught up in the hype? In the popularity? Could He see they had the predispositions to go on a power trip and start thinking of the fame and fortune that may result from their association with Him?

 

Maybe this was the reason verse 20 notes: “And He lifted up His eyes on His disciples”, this seems to indicate He was talking more to them than the multitudes in the crowd. He wants their attention on this. “Look at me, listen up, what I am about to say is for you guys.” He encourages them, again, to be poor in spirit (humble), hungry for righteousness, to mourn their spiritual weakness. Perhaps most difficult of all, He tells them that it is good to be hated by men for His name’s sake.

 

Jesus is teaching them to go low. Later on, in Luke, He will remind them of this by saying “For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest”  (Luke 9:48). No doubt He knew that they were going to need these words for their ministries ahead without Him.

 

No doubt Jesus knew we would need these words today too. As Christians, we are still called to go low so that He may be made high. We are asked to live and relate to others in a way that stands out from how people relate to one another in the world. We are to love and pray for our enemies. Righteousness requires that we respond wisely to Jesus’ words by building our lives around his teaching. He calls on us as His followers to be faithful and obedient because that is the path of wisdom, endurance, and strength. We see from these verses the kind of person God desires as His child. These blessings are an invitation to let God mold us as His children into who we ought to be.

 

APPLY:

 

Can you relate to being excluded for His name’s sake?  How do these verses encourage you?

Does knowing your reward awaits you in heaven make it easier to endure trials on this earth?

In today’s society “going low” is exactly the opposite of what we are told to do. How do you fight cultural norms to exhibit humility in your life?

 

*Devotional contributed by Stephanie Rothman