While up north this past weekend, we had some puzzlers. They put together three 750 piece puzzles, two ofNew York City, and one of a bunch of birds. The birds did not look like they were fromNew York City, and I couldn’t hear their tweets to figure out their accents. (J So much for a common theme!) Some would work on the edges, while others would take on the content of the center. Each had a plan set in their minds. They had the picture on the box to look at. The final result was before them, so they went about the task that would lead them there. If they got so involved just looking at the big picture and didn’t touch the little pieces nothing would get done.
They touched them.
In Luke 4 we see Jesus coming toNazareth near the start of His ministry. On a Sabbath day He went inside and stood up to read. When He was handed the scroll containing the writings of the prophet Isaiah, He turned and found the following words.
Luke 4:18-19 (NASB95)
18 “THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS UPON ME, BECAUSE HE ANOINTED ME TO PREACH THE GOSPEL TO THE POOR. HE HAS SENT ME TO PROCLAIM RELEASE TO THE CAPTIVES, AND RECOVERY OF SIGHT TO THE BLIND, TO SET FREE THOSE WHO ARE OPPRESSED,
19 TO PROCLAIM THE FAVORABLE YEAR OF THE LORD.”
He then sat down and told them that “Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” He was saying that He was the Messiah thatIsrael was waiting for. After initially appreciating His words, they started to question His authority, and things got ugly from there, with the people ultimately trying to throw Jesus off the cliff, but He miraculously escaped right through the middle of the crowd.
What stands out to me is that Jesus had a clear understanding of who He was, and what He was to do. It was the people around Him that did not understand. Jesus knew the big picture, and He was beginning the steps toward that end, the cross, where He would utter the words, “It is finished.” People around Him could not see the end result, and were confused. But that did not stop Jesus from preaching the Gospel to the poor, proclaiming freedom to those who were captive, giving sight to the blind, and bringing hope to the oppressed.
I praise God that Jesus clearly knew the Father’s plan, and was committed to it.
Luke 9:51-56 (KJV)
51 And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,
52 And sent messengers before his face: and they went, and entered into a village of the Samaritans, to make ready for him.
53 And they did not receive him, because his face was as though he would go to Jerusalem.
54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
Jesus set His face towardJerusalem, where He would offer up His life, so that men and women could be saved. He knew why He came to earth, “to seek and save the lost,” “not to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”
Hopefully you have received Jesus, and have experienced the life He has to offer, because He did not stay in the grave, but is alive. In His death we find forgiveness of our sin, and in His resurrection, you may find life, as you turn from your sin, and receive Jesus by faith.
Are you “puzzled” with what you are to do today? Do you have a clear picture of what you are to be about?
Look to God’s Word, and it becomes very clear what we are to be doing day by day. Our actions and words are to be very much like Jesus, reaching out to those who need to hear the Good News, those that are hurting, oppressed, blind, widows, orphans, people that are lost.
In reading the Bible, I see that God has everything set, the end taken care of. Judgment will take place. All things will be made new. Right now, He wants us not to be served, but to serve others. He wants us to seek and save the lost. He wants us to walk as He walked, to love as He loved. And we can only do that as we surrender our bodies to Him, and allow Him to work through us. (Romans 12:1)
Galatians 2:20 (NASB)
20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.
As the puzzlers up north put together those puzzles with great concentration and purpose, it reminded me that we have a great purpose in life, to be able to serve our Lord, by serving others. What are you and I going to do today that God created for us to be a part of? (Ephesians 2:10) It is great to look at the final picture of what Jesus has in store for us, but don’t get so enamored with the final picture, when you have the little things everywhere around you that He wants us to be involved in. I know personally that it is easy to just look at the big picture without getting involved, without touching the pieces.
Let’s touch them. Jesus did.
Tomorrow we begin our journey with Lent readings as we see Jesus heading toward the cross. Readings may be found under the Scripture Readings “tag” above.