As Luke’s faith-building account of Jesus’ person and ministry continues to unfold, he interweaves the theme of opposition with the theme of popularity. Even as Jesus’ fame spreads, he experiences criticism from the religious establishment. This criticism quickly builds to outright hostility as the leaders of the nation conspire to eliminate the threat posed by Jesus.

In the Bible, the heart is not just the source of our emotions. It is the command center of our entire being that directs all of our thoughts, words, and actions. Among many important things to pray for, Paul understood that praying for the hearts of his hearers was his greatest pastoral priority. Only hearts that are increasingly transformed by the indwelling love of Christ will grow, serve, and multiply as God intends. God calls us to know the depth of His love for us in Christ and to pray that others might know it as well.

There were many “mystery religions” in Paul’s day that claimed to have secret knowledge available only to a select few. Their job was to keep hidden what they had learned. Paul said his job was to make known the revelation of Jesus Christ as broadly and clearly as possible. Such is the commission of every believer who has known the grace of Christ: to not only know Him but to make Him known!

The damage sin causes to our relationships is beyond mere patching and mending. Our deep-seated, heart-originated hostility toward one another must be demolished through the cross of Christ so that we may be rebuilt as His holy Church. Whether in a marriage, a family, or a church, only Jesus can reconcile us to God and to one another as we look to Him for grace.

In this passage from Luke we will look at several important vignettes from Jesus’ opening public ministry phase where he relocates to Galilee. These early stages of his public ministry are characterized by powerful words and deeds, which demonstrate a power and authority never before seen by the people there. This results in early and growing popularity, but also early opposition, which Luke juxtaposes throughout Jesus’ life.

Forgetting where we come from is not just a social danger; it is a spiritual danger as well. We easily forget the grace we have been shown in Christ, becoming prideful before God, combative with one another, and despondent within ourselves. But God reminds us of the grace He has shown us through the blood of Christ so that we might once again rejoice in His mercy and live for His glory.

We were made to boast. That’s why it is so hard to resist! The problem is that sin has warped our boasting, causing us to boast in ourselves rather than in God. But God’s grace redeems our boasting. It removes our selfish pride and redirects our adoration to the Savior who supremely humbled Himself for our salvation, Jesus Christ.

But God

“But God” are two of the most important words we could ever hear. We were dead in our transgressions and sins, justly deserving His wrath and curse, but God made us alive with Christ by grace. Further, He has not only shown us His mercy, kindness, and love once, but keeps showing it to us every moment of every day. Whenever we find ourselves lost and undone, there is a “but God” moment He uses for His glory and our good. Best of all, in the ages to come we will see that we have only just begun to fathom the depth of His love for us in Christ.

Jesus' Early Public Ministry

In this passage from Luke we will look at several important vignettes from Jesus’ opening public ministry phase where he relocates to Galilee. These early stages of his public ministry are characterized by powerful words and deeds, which demonstrate a power and authority never before seen by the people there. This results in early and growing popularity, but also early opposition, which Luke juxtaposes throughout Jesus’ life.

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