devotion 1-28-15

Good Morning!

Luke 9:43-50

43And all were astounded at the greatness of God. While everyone was amazed at all that he was doing, he said to his disciples, 44“Let these words sink into your ears: The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands.” 45But they did not understand this saying; its meaning was concealed from them, so that they could not perceive it. And they were afraid to ask him about this saying. 46An argument arose among them as to which one of them was the greatest. 47But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side, 48and said to them, “Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest.” 49John answered, “Master, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.” 50But Jesus said to him, “Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.”

The people were all astounded at the miracle Jesus had performed – here Luke says they did attribute it to God, but they were amazed, nevertheless. The disciples, even those who had not been able to heal the boy themselves, are walking around feeling puffed up. But Jesus pulls them aside – don’t listen to all the hubbub and accolades, he says, but let my words sink in, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands.” In Luke’s gospel, Jesus identifies himself as “Son of Man”, which is a description of Messiah found in Daniel, “One like a Son of Man”. But he says his way is the way of the cross, not that of the accolades of the crowd. But the disciples did not understand, and were afraid to ask the questions!

Not only did they not understand what Jesus was saying; they were so puffed up that they began to argue among themselves over which one was greater. Jesus, of course, knew what they were thinking and arguing about. He took a little child, and set it in their midst, and said to them that to welcome such a child was to welcome him, and to welcome him was to welcome God – the one who sent him.” For the least among you is the greatest.”

In the Kingdom of Heaven, when we live under Christ’s Lordship, all are equal. As Paul says in Galatians 3:28, in Christ there is no male nor female, Gentile or Jew, free man or slave. We all are one in Him. This even includes those of a different denomination! As the disciples point out that there was another person casting out demons in Jesus’ name, one who was not one of them! One of a different denomination! But Jesus says, “whoever is not against you is for you.” We can all work together for Christ’s Kingdom.

Now, that does not mean that we have to all believe the same ways – all we have to believe is that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, came to us and lived among us as a fully human being, to save us – we exist in Jesus’ name. We do not have to interpret Scripture in the same way, or worship in the same style. What we do have to do is to love one another, for to claim to be followers of Christ and to hate one another is to attest to two incompatible beliefs.

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