To call the apostles "ordinary" was actually quite generous. Like us, they were sinful mixtures of doubt, impatience, selfishness, pride, fear, and disbelief. Left to themselves, they could do nothing. But they were also men who were called by God, forgiven by Him, and commissioned to proclaim His Son. Extraordinary times like ours do not call for extraordinary saints. They call for ordinary sinners who proclaim an extraordinary Savior.
It wasn’t long before dark clouds began to gather around Jesus’ ministry. Even as He proclaimed the kingdom of God and healed the sick, opposition arose from the religious leaders. A storm was descending that would lead to the cross. But Jesus did not flinch. He completed His God-given mission with sobriety, fidelity, and expectancy, paving the way for everyone who would follow Him by faith. No matter how great our storm, Jesus is greater and will deliver us in the end.
Proverbs has much to say about the problem of laziness and the importance of hard work. Solomon addresses indolence and industriousness directly, and his wise counsel serves as a springboard to think biblically about work and rest.
The Lord Jesus was no stranger to infectious disease. It was common in His day and greatly feared, causing shame, isolation, and even death. But Jesus demonstrated His power to cleanse the most dreaded disease, proving His power to cleanse the far greater affliction of our sin. No corruption of body or soul can stand against the Lord of life who died and rose again. All who trust in Him are forever safe and will one day be forever healed.
Jesus wasn’t just a ‘fisher of men,’ calling people from death to life through His atoning work on the cross. He was a ‘fisher of fishers of men.’ From the beginning, His intent was to build His church through ‘caught’ people who would then actively and winsomely ‘catch’ others through the proclamation of the Gospel. According to the Scriptures, the two always go together. By the grace of God, we are caught to catch.
After being hunted as a baby, tempted in the wilderness, and rejected by His hometown, you could mistakenly think that Jesus’ ministry was hanging by a thread. But Luke shows us how Jesus was in complete command of His mission as ordained by His Father. He had authority to set people free and bring new life through His powerful Word- the same Word that He proclaims to us today in the pages of Scripture.
How could the greatest Preacher of all time, preaching the most needed sermon, to His own people, from the Holy Scriptures, be not only rejected but threatened with death? The sin of our hearts runs deeper than we imagine. When exposed, it often lashes out. Simeon foretold that Jesus was “destined to cause the falling and rising of many in Israel, and to be a sign that will be spoken against” and we see his words begin to come true in Jesus’ hometown. But how will we respond to Jesus? Will we trust His lordship and receive His grace, or will we demand that He meet our expectations, to our great peril?
We often think of Jesus’ wilderness temptation as merely passive, but the Scripture says it was a God-initiated assault into enemy territory. Our Lord took His first step to seek and save the lost by drawing out our chief enemy and forcing his decisive retreat. Trusting in ourselves, there is no way we can stand against the devil’s remaining attacks. But trusting in our victorious Savior, there is no way we can fall.
Like a skilled lawyer, Luke has been building a case that Jesus is the beloved Son of God and promised Savior of sinners. At the end of chapter 3 he presents his most compelling evidence that Jesus is the Messiah: the voice of God Himself. We find that Jesus’ authority is rooted in His identity, which is confirmed in surety, so that we might grow in purity as we look to Him in faith.