Keep It Quiet!
The 2016 presidential campaign got pretty ugly. Everyone cried that they hate the attack ads, but when the poll numbers got close, we were deluged with media blitzes boasting about the power of their man or woman and the horror of the opposing candidates.
In Luke’s Gospel Jesus isn’t running for office. He’s traveling throughout Judea and Galilee in first century Israel giving one clue after another that He is the Messiah. At the culmination of God’s Story Jesus rules the world, but in His first coming Jesus doesn’t seek high profile. There is no army of spin-doctors and no media hype. In fact Jesus commands the demons to stop shouting out His true identity, and when He heals a desperate leper in Luke 5, check out the instructions Jesus gives him.
“Now it happened (note that Luke uses this phrase to introduce us to another episode in his Jesus Story, cf. 5:1, 12, 17) in one of the cities where Jesus ministered, a man full of leprosy saw Him. He immediately fell down with his face to the ground and pleaded with Jesus, ‘If You’re willing, You are able to cleanse me!’ Jesus extended His hand and touched him. ‘I am willing. Be cleansed!’ Immediately the leprosy departed from him. Then Jesus told him not to tell anyone, but to go and show himself to the priest and offer the sacrifices of purification just as Moses commanded (Leviticus 14:1-32) for a testimony for them. Yet the news about Him spread and large crowds gathered to hear and to be healed of their illnesses. But Jesus would withdraw to a wilderness place and pray.” - Luke 5:12-16
LORD, help my Jewish friends who are reading this to see that the historical Jesus was one of them, a good Jew. He carefully obeyed and encouraged other Jews to obey the commands of Moses. Help them to also see that Jesus gave the Jewish priests the evidence they needed to know that He was the Messiah. And help me to be a lot more excited and diligent in helping others meet Jesus than the armies of political devotees pushing their candidate. Thanks that Jesus proves that when you actually do work miracles, it doesn’t take media hype to gather a crowd.
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