Today's Reading - Luke 7-8
Our reading today is from Luke 7-8. These two chapters are filled with stories of Jesus’ authority, power, and godliness. Once again, we hear about the most Holy One: healing the sick, casting out demons, calming storms, forgiving sins and raising dead children to life. We also read about the unremarkable faith that people had in Jesus. My favorite in these passages is the woman who was bleeding. She knew if she just touched Jesus’ cloak that she would be healed. That’s not small faith, that’s huge faith! But what really jumps off these pages for me is the humanity of Jesus. Yes, He is the Son of God, God incarnate; but He was also fully human. How often do we forget that part? Lets look at it:
The faith of the Centurion: the centurion knew he was unworthy to have Jesus come to his home; but a word from Jesus and his servant would be healed. 7:9 says, “When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, ‘I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel’.” This man amazed Jesus! I can’t imagine that would have been easy. A mere human amazed the Son of the Most High. I wonder do I amaze Jesus?
Jesus raises a widow’s son: Jesus was just walking by when He saw a dead person being carried in a coffin. The man was the only son of a widow. 7:13 says, “When the Lord saw her, his heart went out to her and he said, ‘Don’t cry’.” No one asked Jesus to do anything, that is just who He is.
Jesus anointed by a sinful woman: we know this story, the woman who washes Jesus’ feet with her hair and perfume. The Pharisees are ridiculing her. Jesus response is beautiful. 7:44 says that Jesus “turned toward the woman and said to Simon”. Jesus was looking at this woman the entire time even as he addressed Simon, the Leper, and the owner of the home. I can just see the smile on Jesus’ face as he says these words, “44 Then he turned toward the woman and said to Simon, "Do you see this woman? I came into your house. You did not give me any water for my feet, but she wet my feet with her tears and wiped them with her hair. 45 You did not give me a kiss, but this woman, from the time I entered, has not stopped kissing my feet. 46 You did not put oil on my head, but she has poured perfume on my feet. 47 Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown”. To be fly on that wall! This is an extraordinary scene in which Jesus’ love and compassion is displayed again.
I can’t possibly relate to a perfect God. I don’t measure up and I fail miserably. Remembering that Jesus was also fully human makes me love Him that much more. I know that He faced the same troubles I do, I know that He loved others with that same fierce love that I do. The gospels are full of Jesus’ humanity and that comforts me beyond words.
Do you have a heart for the least of these?
Do you exercise the same compassion for others as Jesus extends to you?
Who do you know that needs to experience the love of Christ?
Are we being invitational to others to experience this Jesus that we know?
Ok, put down the Bible and go do it!
by Laura Arana