May 8 Devotional

Happy Friday everyone! Also, happy last day of “shelter in place” for Boulder county! Tomorrow we move to “safer in place” meaning if you are careful and practice social distancing we can begin meeting in groups of 10! We over in Weld county have been enjoying the safer in place for the past week and a half, so welcome to the club 😉 
 
As I mentioned on Monday, I’ll be using Friday as a quick devotional about Sunday’s message, which this week is on Luke 7:18-25:
 
The disciples of John reported all these things to him. And John, calling two of his disciples to him, sent them to the Lord, saying, “Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?” And when the men had come to him, they said, “John the Baptist has sent us to you, saying, ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?’” In that hour he healed many people of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many who were blind he bestowed sight. And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, the poor have good news preached to them. And blessed is the one who is not offended by me.”
When John’s messengers had gone, Jesus began to speak to the crowds concerning John: “What did you go out into the wilderness to see? A reed shaken by the wind? What then did you go out to see? A man dressed in soft clothing? Behold, those who are dressed in splendid clothing and live in luxury are in kings’ courts. What then did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. This is he of whom it is written,
“‘Behold, I send my messenger before your face,
    who will prepare your way before you.’
I tell you, among those born of women none is greater than John. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he.” (When all the people heard this, and the tax collectors too, they declared God just, having been baptized with the baptism of John, but the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected the purpose of God for themselves, not having been baptized by him.)
“To what then shall I compare the people of this generation, and what are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling to one another,
“‘We played the flute for you, and you did not dance;
    we sang a dirge, and you did not weep.’
For John the Baptist has come eating no bread and drinking no wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!’ Yet wisdom is justified by all her children.”
 
This week we finally get to see John the Baptist, Jesus’ cousin again. If you remember all the way back to Christmas (I know it feels like a decade ago) I got to preach about John the Baptist then, and warned you that he’d be back! Well here he is! John has been sitting in a prison cell for preaching against the Herodian dynasty. So while John’s been sitting and rotting in a jail cell, Jesus’ star has been rising. And with the Messiah came the expectation that the Roman government would be overthrown and the Jews would rise up victorious. So John must have been wondering why he was stuck in a jail cell if Jesus was the Messiah. John’s expectations were not being met. So Jesus replies quoting from Isaiah, some of the prophecies related to the Anointed One coming. Jesus is telling John that he’s been focusing on the wrong things. Jesus came to call the sick, not the healthy! So he’s doing exactly what the Bible had prophesied, but John missed it! 
 
Then Jesus reminds people what John’s role was. John came to prepare the way for the Messiah, a crucial role! John was the greatest person to ever live! Jesus himself says it! But at the same time, the one who is least in God’s kingdom is greater than John! What a dichotomy! See God’s kingdom takes the world’s kingdom and turns it on its’ head! Speaking of turning the earthly kingdom on its’ head, Jesus then addresses the accusations against he and John. John came as an ascetic, living in the wilderness and eating bugs and they accused him of having a demon. Jesus comes and does the opposite, often being the life of the party! (Just read his first miracle in John 2!) And then they accuse him of being a drunkard! So Jesus is asking them which one do they want? They’re talking out of both sides of their mouth! Jesus is reminding his people that God’s way doesn’t fit into our preconceived notions. So let’s follow him instead of demanding he fit into our box!
 
SONG:
Today’s song is a newer one called ‘Way Maker’ that you can listen to on YOUTUBE or SPOTIFY.
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