What Does It Mean For Jesus to be Lord?
Thoughts which draw me to Jesus, and to the Cross
10 One Sabbath Jesus was teaching in a synagogue. 11 A woman there had an evil spirit that had made her ill for eighteen years; she was bent over and could not straighten up at all. 12 When Jesus saw her, he called out to her, “Woman, you are free from your illness!” 13 He placed his hands on her, and at once she straightened herself up and praised God.
14 *The official of the synagogue was angry that Jesus had healed on the Sabbath, so he spoke up and said to the people, “There are six days in which we should work; so come during those days and be healed, but not on the Sabbath!”
15 The Lord answered him, “You hypocrites! Any one of you would untie your ox or your donkey from the stall and take it out to give it water on the Sabbath. 16 Now here is this descendant of Abraham whom Satan has kept bound up for eighteen years; should she not be released on the Sabbath?” 17 His answer made his enemies ashamed of themselves, while the people rejoiced over all the wonderful things that he did. Luke 13:10-17 GNT
At our human and Christian best we are not fascists barking our orders to God and his creatures. At our human and Christian best we are not quietists dumbly submissive before fate. At our human and Christian best we pray in the middle voice at the center between active and passive, drawing from them as we have need and occasion but always uniquely and artistically ourselves, creatures adoring God and being graced by him, “participating in the results of the action.”
This is written for our admonition, that we may in the light of his example also cheerfully suffer want and temptation for the service of God and the good of our neighbor, like Christ did for us, as often as necessity requires it, which is surely accomplished if we learn and confess God’s Word.
As long as I’ve studied the Bible, I’ve noticed a theological battle between two groups.
They go by many labels, but the basic common fiber they have is that they have is not being a relationship with God. They see themselves as observers of God, those who study what He does.
Often, that is seen like the Pharisee who would rather have Jesus obey his traditions than heal someone tormented by demonic spirits. We get so caught up in how it has been–we forget why it is that way. Freeing the lady from demonic power was the basis for the Sabbath – a chance for the broken to find rest in God.
Yet he barked at Jesus, and told God that helping this lady find her Sabbath rest was wrong. The other side of that is to allow her to be that way, to just give up, and let what is will be. Leaving her to the fate of suffering–assuming that this was simply what God wanted for her.
The lady in question, an impressive picture of the church, may not be able to describe the theological nuances of Jesus being her Lord, her Savior. But He didn’t leave her in captivity, to sin or to the demons that haunted her. She didn’t tell Jesus what to do, but she certainly was a “participant in the results of the action.” That participation ended up with her worshipping Him. Not as something planned, not something scheduled out, but as a blessing that was incredibly deep.
This enables us to suffer through want and temptation, this participation in the glory of Christ. Having been united to Him in His death and resurrection, this salvation begins a transformation where we become more like Him. This, too, is the work of the Holy Spirit, who, through His word creates in us a new life that is like Jesus. We participate, really, in His life, in His glory, in His Sabbath’ rests peace.
This is why He came to us.. this is why we are here.
Eugene H. Peterson, The Contemplative Pastor: Returning to the Art of Spiritual Direction, vol. 17, The Leadership Library (Carol Stream, IL; Dallas; Waco, TX: Christianity Today; Word Pub., 1989), 111.
Martin Luther and John Sander, Devotional Readings from Luther’s Works for Every Day of the Year (Rock Island, IL: Augustana Book Concern, 1915), 66.
Posted on February 17, 2023, in Augsburg and Trent, Devotional Reading, Devotions, Eugene Peterson, Martin Luther. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.
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