Luke 4: Part 2 (6)
Pray Psalm 22.27, 28.
All the ends of the world
Shall remember and turn to the LORD,
And all the families of the nations
Shall worship before You.
For the kingdom is the LORD’s,
And He rules over the nations.
Sing Psalm 22.27, 28.
(Darwall: Rejoice, the Lord Is King)
All nations shall repent and hasten to the Lord.
All those to whom His truth is sent shall praise His Word.
The Lord is King! His sovereign rule on high now we His people sing!
Read Luke 4.31-44; meditate on verses 43, 44.
1. Why did Jesus not stay with the people?
2. What did He do instead?
Jesus ran on His own schedule, dictated by the mission God had appointed for Him and His vision of what that mission entailed. This would not be the last time people would try to detain Jesus or deflect Him from His chosen course of action. Evidently the people still had many needs, and they were hoping Jesus would remain with them to finish the work He had begun.
He certainly could have remained there and done many good works and preached many powerful words. But Jesus would not be deterred from His own agenda. He knew He needed to move on to proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God “in other cities also”. This was why God had sent Him. Note the content of Jesus’ message: the Kingdom of God. Not just forgiveness of sins. Nor just going to heaven when you die, or being a better person. As Psalm 22.21-31 shows, Jesus held in His mind a clear and compelling vision of the coming of His rule on earth as it is in heaven, a Kingdom of righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit (Rom. 14.17, 18) that would make all things new in time (Rev. 22.5). This is why He came. This was what He was working to inaugurate. This is what He proclaimed – regime change of the most ultimate and glorious sort.
As the Father has sent Jesus, so Jesus has sent us (Jn. 20.21), to pray for and seek the Kingdom and righteousness of God as we are going, wherever we are going, whatever we are doing (Matt. 6.10, 33; 28.18-20). We must not get bogged down in working our Personal Mission Field. God has sent us to all the people there, and we are His agents of grace to them (2 Cor. 4.15). They are our Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and uttermost parts of the earth (Acts 1.8), and we must be faithful in seeking the Kingdom on behalf of them all.
Get Jesus’ vision for your life and calling. Then live a visionary life, not one that bogs down in mindless routines, cozy comfort, or excessive expediency.
Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Good works abound for us to be involved in. But we sometimes don’t know how to stop. Or perhaps change jobs. We should be so attuned to the leading of the Holy Spirit that we are never doing anything simply because we were doing it, and don’t know how to get off the merry-go-round to change horses.
Yes, Jesus could’ve stayed where He was and spend the rest of His earthly ministry healing the sick and casting out demons. They were, and are, prevalent. This good work could have occupied His every waking moment. But it was not the only thing He was called to do. So, He politely excused Himself and got on with all the other things that were there for Him to accomplish (Lk. 4.43, 44).
Here is what we can be sure we are always called to, every moment of every day: to follow Jesus wholeheartedly and live according to God’s plan for us, keeping His commandments, and staying firmly fixed in His Word and in prayer. Working always for more of His Kingdom to be evident; and we, more dedicated messengers and full-fledged members of this new regime.
It is what Jesus told us to pray and work for: “In this manner, therefore, pray: ‘Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven’” (Matt. 6.10). As His will is always done in heaven, we are working with Him to bring this about in our Personal Mission Field on earth. Jesus said, “I must work the works of Him who sent me…” (Jn. 9.4). And we are to do the same. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” (Eph. 2.10).
Where God directs you to serve is between you and God. You can have a visionary life directed by the Holy Spirit Who lives in you. Listen for His voice. Harken to His leading. Enjoy your service—it is, after all, your living sacrifice. “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service” (Rom. 12.1).
Good works abound for us to be involved in; and we are to feel His freedom to do the things that He has called us to do. As our dear friend, Pat Hunter, used to say, “I love being a steering wheel in the hands of my dear Savior, with Him turning me where He wants me to go.” And then she added: “If you’re doing something because someone has you by the tail rather than because Jesus has you by the heart, you’re not growing in grace—you’re just growing tail feathers.” She led a truly visionary life. We can too.
1. What do we mean by a visionary life? Would you say you have such a life? Explain.
2. Jesus had a Personal Mission Field, just like we do. What are you learning from Him about working your Personal Mission Field?
3. How do you expect the Lord to lead you in a visionary manner today?
Christ was going to travel throughout Judea in a short amount of time, that the minds of the people in many places might be awakened to the hearing of the gospel as if by the sound of a trumpet. John Calvin (1509-1564), Commentary on a Harmony of the Gospels 11
Pray Psalm 22.23-26.
This is the Kingdom vision Jesus saw, and which was the “joy that was set before Him” as He hanged on the cross (Ps. 22.1-21; Heb. 12.3). Pray for the coming of God’s Kingdom over all the world, and throughout your Personal Mission Field.
Sing Psalm 22.23-26.
(Darwall: Rejoice, the Lord Is King)
All you who fear the Lord, now praise His holy Name!
You children of His glorious Word, declare His fame!
We stand in awe of our eternal God, and on His mercy call.
For He has not despised the anguish of our King,
Nor from Him hid His eyes, Who knew such suffering.
Let praise arise from all who love and serve the Ruler of the skies!
Then all the poor shall eat and praise with us the Lord.
Forever we His praise repeat and trust His Word.
Praise God above, all you who keep His vows and who His mercies love!
T. M. and Susie Moore
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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by clicking here.
A Visionary Life
- T.M. Moore
- December 24, 2022
It's how we should all live. Luke 4.43, 44
Luke 4: Part 2 (6)
T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore