Monday, August 2, 2010

Day 15: Jesus Arrives in Galilee and Begins Teaching

Jesus is welcomed in Galilee, but what appears to be acceptance of Him and His messiahship is really a rejection. They flock to Him for one reason His miracles--what he can do for them physically. How would they know He was the Messiah that had been prophesied for generations? how would they know that this was not just a charismatic rabbi with unique gifts? We must see this through Jewish eyes.

These would be the three signs that the Messiah was on the earth and should cause every Jew on the planet to fall down and worship Him.

Miracle #1: The Messiah would heal a Jewish leper. The Old Testament records the healing of Naaman the leper, but he was a Gentile. There was no record of any Jew ever being healed.

Miracle #2: The Messiah would heal a demon-possessed man who was also dumb (could not speak). There were exorcists in that day as there are today. However the demon would also be communicated with through the voice of the one who was possessed.

Miracle #3: The Messiah would heal a man born blind from birth.

Luke 4:15 tells us what three things about Jesus' teaching?
1. He taught in the synagogues
2. Everyone glorified/praised Him
3. ??? I'm not getting the third thing!

Be the Royal Official: Once again, this story will have great meaning to you if you study it emphatically or autobiographically by putting yourself in the scene. Just the small amount of information that has been mentioned is enough to understand and feel the drama of what this man and his wife must have been experiencing. Your son has become increasingly ill and no remedies are available. You are an official who works for one of the most powerful men on earth. You would have access to the best medical care, but nothing is working. You and your wife stay up night after night trying to bring the fever down. There is no ice, so cool water from a well is all you have. You cat nap while your wife watches him. She, in turn, does the same so you can rest. You must be at your job every day, but you can't concentrate. Your wife is becoming emotional, and as the fever climbs she cries, "Do something!"

Herod and his top officials are aware of a Nazarene named Jesus and have been monitoring his movements. The Rabbi has miraculously cured people of many illnesses and He is now in Cana, some seventeen miles away. Wit the dual emotions of fear of never seeing your son again and the hope of a miracle, you set out on your journey. A good day's travel in antiquity was about seventeen miles, but this is your son's life that quivers in the balance. You keep a breakneck pace, slowing down only to catch your breath and drink some water. Time is critical; your son may not have a day left. You reach Cana and ask where you might find Jesus. "Look for the crowd," they say. You come with desperate boldness as you burst into the front of the crowd that surrounds Him. You entreat Him to come to Capernaum and heal your son. You have memorized your speech for seventeen miles, but no convincing is necessary. He speaks to the crowds about needing a miracle in order to believe, then looks in your eyes and with no drama or emotion and calmly says,"Go, your son lives." He has no questions about the illness and there is no hesitation, only a firmness and confidence in His voice and compassion in His eyes. It was not what you expected. Would He not need to personally go to your home and touch the boy? You believe Him, but aren't sure why. It was some indefinable quality that you can't quite put your finger on. You can't explain it, but you walk away wit complete assurance that your son will be okay.

Could you have trusted Jesus that much or would you have had to first see the results? Why or why not?

I think in such a situation, I would have trusted Jesus, because what other choice did he have? He didn't know if his son was going to live, but he obviously thought by going there that he might get a miracle...I think I would trust that it had happened!

In verse 52, what day did the healing occur?


Step back into his sandals for a moment: You have had little sleep in weeks. Because of the urgency of the situation, you have traveled seventeen miles in record time. You have survived on pure adrenaline and the love for your child. Jesus tells you he is healed. You believe it! But would you not rush back so you could throw your arms around that little boy as fast as you could, worn out or not? Instead, an afternoon and a night pass. The next morning he begins his journey. It is very likely that the royal official, assured that his son is well, went off completely at peace and got a good night's sleep before starting for home the next morning. Amazing confidence in Jesus!