Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Pertinence of Partnerships

Oh, The Places!

There is a lot to look at when analyzing text. Particularly sacred scriptures. There's doctrine, lessons, cross-references, actions... the list goes on and on. Different passages of scripture lend themselves to different kinds of analysis. Luke 4 is particularly kind to setting—where is Jesus? It is very interesting to see how Jesus conducts himself in various different settings and what that can teach us about our own reactions when we find ourselves in these same places.

The Personal Place

The second place we see Jesus is at Simon's home in Luke 4:38. This intimately personal setting is juxtaposed against Jesus' very public ministry which includes the statement in verse 37 about Jesus' fame which echoes far beyond his physical presence. Not only have people heard of Jesus, but the things they have heard are amazing. In verse 36, the people are astonished at the power behind his teaching. They recognized something special in Jesus. As a result, his fame exploded.

So what does Jesus do? He goes into a home to take personal care of a disciple's intimate need; Simon's need to care for his mother-in-law. Jesus does not start a global tour, he comes home instead. Jesus does not sell out arenas for hour-long preaching sessions, he holds a bedside service instead. Jesus does not headline a week-long conference, he heads over to an individual with a specific need instead.

** Queue big movie theater voice ** This time it's personal.

That's not to say that any of those things (global tours, selling out arenas, week-long conferences [or cruises!]) are bad. But we know that these are not the things with which Jesus was involved. Jesus was involved with people on an individual level.

The Paramount Piece

What's important to you?

It is apparent that Jesus had a clear vision of what was important to him. Relationships were his priority. Look at the time that he took to personally care for Simon's mother-in-law:
"Jesus went to Simon’s home, where he found Simon’s mother-in-law very sick with a high fever. 'Please heal her,' everyone begged. Standing at her bedside, he rebuked the fever, and it left her. And she got up at once and prepared a meal for them." —Luke 4:38-39 NLT
Consider your own personal life. The relationships found in your personal place are with the people closest to you. These are the people to whom you reveal yourself most truly. These are people you live with, share bathrooms with, watch TV with, share meals with, share hopes and dreams and fears with. These are people who know your tendencies, faults, strengths and push your buttons regularly. These are the people who can tell when you are serious and when you lie through your teeth.

Jesus built relationships like this.

Jesus prioritized relationships like this.

What better way to share the gospel than to live it out in front of an audience that can vouch for your character? What better person to share God's love with than a family member or close friend? Sometimes we replace the personal mission field with dreams of bigger, supposed better things.

Jesus did not do that.

There were times when his family rejected him. But his door was always open (we know his family played an important role in the early Church, so they came around). We need to be ready to support these intimate relationships. Again I ask the question, what's important to you?
Christopher M. Jimenez. Powered by Blogger.

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