Let us praise the Lord for His might, humble ourselves to receive the glory from Him and keep on learning from the very person of Jesus who already saved us to attain an eternal life.
Our faithful God has promised us the way out of all temptations and tests (1 Corinthians 10:13). What promises that He wants to offer to us today? We will surely be blessed if we do not doubt His Word for it is written in the Gospel of Luke 7:23 “And blessed is he who is not offended because of Me.”
It is clear that Jesus offers us happiness if we believe and receive His presence in our lives. We will surely be blessed and joyful for receiving Him as our Savior who gives us hope. Such joy was also experienced by the young man whom Jesus raised from the dead. His resurrection made his mother’s sorrow changed into joy (Luke 7:14-16).
Application: Whatever problem – even the toughest one – we may struggle, if we invite the Lord to involve with it, we will surely be able to overcome it for with God nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37).
The pericope of Luke 7:18-35 is about Jesus and John the Baptist. John as the greatest prophet among those born of women (v. 28), bore the great commission to prepare the way for Jesus by offering repentance and baptism. Jesus was also acknowledged as a great prophet by the multitude who witnessed Him raising the young man of Nain from the dead (v.16), but the fact is He is much greater than John the Baptist (v. 29).
Many people heard Jesus’ word then followed Him including the tax collectors and sinners (Mark 2:15). But the Scribes and the Pharisees resented Jesus’ association with them. When Jesus spoke to the people about John the Baptist, many of them including the tax collectors admitted the truth of God for they had willingly given themselves to be baptized by John.
Blessed were those people who did not reject Him. On the other hand, the Pharisees and the Scribes rejected the will of God for them. They refused to believe His truth by rejecting John’s offer to be baptized—to become one with Jesus’ death and resurrection (cf. Romans 6:3-5). It was different from the young man of Nain. After being raised from the dead, he sat down, speaking to the people. He must have been talking about the very person of Jesus and His magnificent works (cf. Acts 2:11).
Application: If we have experienced spiritual resurrection, we will surely wake up and sit to listen to the word of God and then testify about Him and the great works He has done for us. Thus, we will be a blessing for others.
We do need “four pillars” to be strong and firm followers of Christ as emphasized by Peter when talking to those whose hearts were pierced after hearing him say, “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ … Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 2:36-38).
- Know for sure who the crucified Jesus is →the Gate
- Repent→ the Altar of Burnt Offering
- Be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for sin forgiveness → the Brazen Laver
- Receive the gift of the Holy Spirit→ the Door of the Tabernacle
He who believes in the crucified Jesus will repent and have a new-born life and then be filled with the Holy Spirit. Perseverance in listening to and meditating on the word of God (the Table of Showbread), giving testimony (the Gold Lampstand), and worshipping Him (the Altar of Incense) will result in sure- footed faith in Him and a sanctified life.
Let us be willing to receive the message and power from God Most High. Speaking about the power of Jesus, the chief priests, the Scribes and the elders once asked Jesus about the authority He used to curse the fig tree until it dried up. Jesus asked them back concerning the baptism performed by John whether it was from heaven or from man. Such question really bothered them as they found it hard to answer. “And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’ But if we say, ‘From men’”—they feared the people, for all counted John to have been a prophet indeed.” They did not want to acknowledge that John’s baptism came from heaven, so they replied, “We do not know.” Therefore, Jesus did not answer their question either (Mark 11:27-33).
Take not that Jesus emphasized, “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). It is obvious that whoever believes in Him will be saved. On the contrary, those who do not believe in Him will be condemned. The chief priests, the Scribes and the elders did not confess the greatness of Jesus; instead, they used their mouths to mock and corner Jesus and John the Baptist (Luke 7:33-34).
We need to be sure that the word of God is alive and powerful, and even His Spirit lives in us to raise our mortal body (Romans 8:11). His living word gives us peace and joy. We do need the Holy Spirit because our body is like a mortal earthen vessel (2 Corinthians 4:7,11). If the Spirit of God fills us, songs of praise will be coming out of our mouths to glorify Him and testify about His greatness as what Elizabeth, John the Baptist’s mother, experienced. After hearing greetings from Mary (Jesus’ mother), she deeply rejoiced and was filled with the Holy Spirit then she sang to glorify the Lord (Luke 1:39-45).
Let us believe in Him in order to gain happiness from the highest place which is granted to those who do not reject Him. If we open our hearts to receive Jesus, we will receive the power of His resurrection; and our lives will be changed starting from our thought. We will no longer set our mind on earthly things, but on things above where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God; until the time comes when we will be glorified with Him (Colossians 3:1-4).
Beware, do not let yourself fall asleep as what the five wise virgins and the five foolish virgins did while waiting for the groom to come. Fortunately, the five wise virgins brought the stock of oil in their vessels that saved them from trouble and made them ready to meet the bridegroom in the wedding feast (Matthew 25:1-7).
Application: We know that these days’ complicated problems can make us “fall asleep.” Yet may the loud voice of the word of God stimulate us to wake up and receive Him as our Savior and Heavenly Bridegroom.
How blessed we are when we receive Jesus as our Savior! We are adopted to become His children who are sealed with the Holy Spirit “who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:14). We become the Lord’s possession as His bride who is worthy to stand beside Him full of glory for eternity. Amen.