Luke and the Lost
We will do anything to avoid the inevitable. We shift our feet, look away, and try to think about other things, trivial things, and thoughts that are downright foolish When I give blood, I look away, make jokes with the nurse, being silly, even giddy, making medical people smile and wonder if I’m “on something”. I am in denial. I want to avoid passing out at the sight of my own blood.
I don’t “do blood” well, especially if it is my own. With age, this has gotten some better, but when I was a very young child, my mom chased me all around the house trying pull off a bandaid from my backside that had been there for many days, The doctor had given me a shot. In my mind, I just knew all my guts would fall out if the bandaid was removed because this was plugging the hole he made in my body! My mom was determined to prove me wrong. And she did. And I passed out.
I am smiling because of this flashback in time as I read the next passage where Jesus is telling his guys, once again, that He is going to be betrayed and will eventually be taken away. His followers just could not accept that or understand it. Like little children trying to understand a new concept, they went on to something they could understand. Imagine them shifting their feet, looking away at something else, thinking foolish thoughts. It’s a “how ’bout those Lakers” moment in time. Maybe it’s denial. Even worse, it’s all about them and nothing about Jesus.
Luke 9, The Message
Your Business Is Life
43-44 While they continued to stand around exclaiming over all the things he was doing, Jesus said to his disciples, “Treasure and ponder each of these next words: The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into human hands.”
45 They didn’t get what he was saying. It was like he was speaking a foreign language and they couldn’t make heads or tails of it. But they were embarrassed to ask him what he meant.
46-48 They started arguing over which of them would be most famous. When Jesus realized how much this mattered to them, he brought a child to his side. “Whoever accepts this child as if the child were me, accepts me,” he said. “And whoever accepts me, accepts the One who sent me. You become great by accepting, not asserting. Your spirit, not your size, makes the difference.”
49 John spoke up, “Master, we saw a man using your name to expel demons and we stopped him because he wasn’t of our group.”
50 Jesus said, “Don’t stop him. If he’s not an enemy, he’s an ally.”
51-54 When it came close to the time for his Ascension, he gathered up his courage and steeled himself for the journey to Jerusalem. He sent messengers on ahead. They came to a Samaritan village to make arrangements for his hospitality. But when the Samaritans learned that his destination was Jerusalem, they refused hospitality. When the disciples James and John learned of it, they said, “Master, do you want us to call a bolt of lightning down out of the sky and incinerate them?”
55-56 Jesus turned on them: “Of course not!” And they traveled on to another village.
57 On the road someone asked if he could go along. “I’ll go with you, wherever,” he said.
58 Jesus was curt: “Are you ready to rough it? We’re not staying in the best inns, you know.”
Jesus said to another, “Follow me.”
59 He said, “Certainly, but first excuse me for a couple of days, please. I have to make arrangements for my father’s funeral.”
60 Jesus refused. “First things first. Your business is life, not death. And life is urgent: Announce God’s kingdom!”
61 Then another said, “I’m ready to follow you, Master, but first excuse me while I get things straightened out at home.”
62 Jesus said, “No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.”
What is our “business”? Is it life and more life? Are we in denial? Do we look away instead of digging in to what God wants for us? Are we avoiding the hard work of allowing God to take control? Are we in denial of where God is really wanting to take us? Are we simply in denial of the facts, of Jesus, the Son of God suffering for us in such cruel ways so that we might be free of the debt of our own sin?
“Seize the day!” No more procrastination…let us get on with Life with the Giver of Life. No more denial. It’s all about Jesus!
Dear Heavenly Father, Wow, there is so much here in this passage that stirs our hearts and challenges our thoughts. May we accept all that You have for us with gratitude and praise. May we live our lives well, choosing wisely, because of You living fully alive in us. In Jesus Name, Amen