Three in One! Tied up for us in about twenty-three verses, Luke has given us help to make our quest and conquest viable and enduring. There are battles to be won, and some of them may require tremendous perseverance and hope.
As the chapter opens, the seventy are being sent out and when they return, they are rejoicing that
“even demons are subject to us in your name!”
I think it is interesting that they were sent out long before they began to get a grip of Jesus as Messiah … which they never did fully comprehend until after His resurrection and the coming of the Holy Spirit. We have His Spirit and faith in Him as Savior. Let us make capitol use of both!
Then comes a lawyer on the scene who is privileged to recite the summation of all the law and prophets … what an honor was bestowed upon him!
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul and strength and mind … and your neighbor as yourself.”
Jesus told him he had answered well, and with that momentous revelation came the story of the Good Samaritan, a parable to illustrate the depth of loving and serving for Jesus’ sake.
And then, before the chapter ends, we have Martha and Mary, sometimes used to signify the grace/works dilemma, but more truly, just as Jesus said, the glory of the “better part” in all things . . .
“Mary has chosen the better part (at Jesus’ feet,) and it will not be taken from her.”
Had Jesus asked Mary to bring Him a drink of water or to go out to fetch something or to help Martha, would she not have done it? Mary’s obedience and service, as ours ought, would have come from His leading. This is the point for us. His Word and His Spirit do lead, with results.
Demons cast out. People set free. People healed.
Life! in the very compassion of Christ toward others. Effective compassion.
Stillness and worship, friendship and joy, grace to obey, all at the feet of Jesus Christ.
These are not mutually exclusive! It isn’t, “Which to choose?” but “How to proceed?” Above all, dear friends, in your forty days of fasting and prayer, move forward with a listening ear, taking time to hear, to worship, to cry out, and to be comforted.
Here’s what I think. I think the one supports the other. The more time we spend in the Presence of the Lord, the more we are prepared in faith and love to see others saved, healed, and delivered, and the more His compassions become ours.
The more we see the need, the more we desire the very power of God and the anointing that breaks the yoke. The more the Lord accomplishes through our prayers, the more we extol Him and draw near to Him in admiring, grateful love.
Tomorrow, dear friends. We don’t have to be perfect today, we don’t have to know how to do this, we only need to believe that it needs to be done and that, if our compassions are kindled toward those in desperate need, we’ve now begun to catch fire in the fullness of the mercies of God.
One step at a time … but first, into His Presence.
Christ in the Home of Martha and Mary
Johannes (Jan) Vermeer, circa 1654-54