Jesus responds to persistence

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Luke 18

JESUS RESPONDS TO PERSISTENCE

And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him, “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.” And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.”  (Luke 18:38-42)

Most of us don’t like to be bothered repeatedly.

Few parents encourage their kids to shout louder after they’ve heard them the first few times. Few friends encourage each other to keep calling again and again after the first conversation was finished.

But Jesus isn’t like that.

In the first part of Luke 18, Jesus tells a story to demonstrate how persistent prayers are a delight to the Father, and in the last part of the chapter He demonstrates the same heart by healing a blind man who just wouldn’t shut up.

The man had cried out loudly and the crowd told him to shut it, but he persisted. The man had been blocked by the crowd but he didn’t give up. The man wasn’t afraid to make a scene because he believed that Jesus could heal him and he showed his faith by his persistent action.

And Jesus stopped what He was doing, and responded.

No matter what your need looks like, may you have the confidence to continue asking for Jesus to intervene. May you have courage and diligence to keep praying, keep asking, and keep walking in faith, and as you do, may you find hope in this truth: Jesus responds to persistence.

-Pastor Phillip


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God’s Kingdom is bigger than your perspective

God’s Hope for Your Heart from Luke 9

GOD’S KINGDOM IS BIGGER THAN YOUR PERSPECTIVE

John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.”  But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him, for the one who is not against you is for you.”  (Luke 9:49-50)

The disciples were convinced they’d found an imposter.  They were convinced there was just one way to follow Jesus, one set of interpretations, and one list of right methods: theirs.  They were convinced they were in the right and this other person was in the wrong because he didn’t “follow with us,” and so the disciples were sure he must not be following Jesus at all.

But Jesus disagreed.

Perhaps one reason for this can be found in a careful reading of the previous passage.  Luke 9:46-47 reveals the main motivation of the disciples’ desire to exclude anyone not like them.

“An argument arose among them as to which of them was the greatest, but Jesus, knowing the reasoning of their hearts, took a child and put him by His side…”

The disciples had just been rebuked for their self-centeredness and pride.  It was in response to this rebuke that “John answered.”  He was trying to justify himself.  He was trying to prove how right the disciples were by pointing out how wrong someone else was.

But Jesus disagreed.

Notice that when Jesus wanted to demonstrate the heart of the Kingdom, He didn’t choose a scholar.  He didn’t choose a priest.  He chose a child, because He is far more concerned with simple trust and obedience towards Him and sincere unity and love towards others than He is about our music, our dress code or our Bible translation.  (See Mark 10:15 and Luke 18:17.)

We know that Jesus is the only way to God because He said it Himself and Scripture is full of this truth.  However, the way in which we follow Him is more flexible than many like to believe.

Here’s why this is good news.

Because the Kingdom is bigger than just your point of view, you don’t have to worry so much about getting everything “right” all the time!  In fact, if you’re too focused on nailing down all the particulars, you might just miss the whole point: Jesus loves you; He has called you; He is with you, and He is for you.

As you let the main thing be the main thing, keep your focus on Jesus Himself, and you’ll be filled with the great hope that flows from this great truth: God’s Kingdom is bigger than your perspective.

-Pastor Phillip


AUDIO VERSION (Click here to subscribe to the daily podcast on iTunes.)


 

Jesus delights in persistence

Scripture Notes on Luke 18

And he cried out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”  And those who were in front rebuked him, telling him to be silent. But he cried out all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”  And Jesus stopped and commanded him to be brought to him. And when he came near, he asked him,  “What do you want me to do for you?” He said, “Lord, let me recover my sight.”  And Jesus said to him, “Recover your sight; your faith has made you well.” -Luke 18:38-42

Most of us don’t like to be bothered repeatedly.

Few parents encourage their kids to shout louder after they’ve heard them the first few times.  Few friends encourage each other to keep calling again and again after the first conversation was finished.

But Jesus isn’t like that.

In the first part of Luke 18, Jesus tells a story to demonstrate how persistent prayers are a delight to the Father, and in the last part of the chapter He demonstrates the same heart by healing a blind man who just wouldn’t shut up.

The man had cried out loudly and the crowd told him to shut it, but he persisted.  The man had been blocked by the crowd but he didn’t give up.  The man wasn’t afraid to make a scene because he believed that Jesus could heal him and he showed his faith by his persistent action.

And Jesus stopped what He was doing, and responded.

No matter what your need looks like, may you have the confidence to continue asking for Jesus to intervene.  May you have courage and diligence to keep praying, keep asking, and keep walking in faith, and as you do, take heart in this.

Jesus delights in persistence.

-Pastor Phillip