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The Scriptorium

Words of Love (2)

Even a rebuke can be loving. Luke 8.25

Luke 8 Part 1 (6)

Pray Psalm 141.5.
Let the righteous strike me;
It shall be a kindness.
And let him rebuke me;
It shall be as excellent oil;
Let my head not refuse it.
For still my prayer is against the deeds of the wicked.

Sing Psalm 141.5.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
Lord, let a righteous man rebuke – a kindness this shall surely be.
Like healing oil upon my head, Your sweet rebuke shall be to me.

Read Luke 8.1-25; meditate on verse 25.


1. What did Jesus ask the disciples?

2. What did the disciples ask one another?

Imagine the corporate sigh of relief as the wind and sea died down. Whew! That was close!

Then imagine the troubling of the waters and winds of their souls as Jesus rebuked their puny faith: “Where is your faith?” Ouch!

But Jesus was simply pointing out an important spiritual fact: Faith is meant to override fears, not the other way around. Think of the many ways fear can thwart faith. We fear the loss of some cherished practice or possession, so we fail to believe God’s Word when it urges us beyond our zone of comfort or convenience. We fear what others might think of us, so we keep our faith to ourselves. We fear having to exert ourselves in some good work – the loss of time, the risk of failure, having to go out of our way, etc. – so we fail to believe that we are saved for good works, and we merely profess faith rather than live it.

Jesus wanted us to know that faith must prevail over fear. By faith we cling to God’s Word. By faith we look to Him in prayer. By faith we set our minds on the things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. By faith we take up the example of our forebears and follow in their lives of obedience and witness. By faith we stare down our fears and step out on the troubled waters of the sea of life, looking to Jesus for every next step.

The disciples’ problem, of course, is that they did not yet understand who Jesus was. He was really cool, of course, and spoke interesting truths, did many good works, and paid them special attention. But Yahweh? LORD of the wind and sea? They weren’t there yet. That is, their faith had not rested on that lofty plateau.

How about you?

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
Jesus said to His disciples, “Let’s cross over to the other side of the lake” (Lk. 8.22). And that one sentence determined their faith or lack thereof. He told them they were going to get to the other side. So, what if a huge storm arose? “Let’s cross over.” And so, what if Jesus was taking a well-deserved nap and seemed inattentive to their needs? “Let’s cross over.”

Jesus also said to His disciples, and says to us, “Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also. And where I go you know, and the way you know…I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn. 14. 1-4, 6). So even when storms arise in this life of ours, He still says and means, “Let’s cross over.”

Also, when Jesus berated them, and berates us for our lack of faith, He was and is showing great love.
“Open rebuke is better than love carefully concealed.”
“Faithful are the wounds of a friend…”
“As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend. (Prov. 27.5, 6, 17). His love rebukes, wounds, and sharpens us for service to Him and to others while we’re crossing over.

We have been told of God’s love and tender care in the Old Testament and the New.
We have been told that we will cross over one day into eternity; and in the meantime, we have work to do in and for the Kingdom of God (Eph. 2.10).
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the LORD your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you” (Deut. 31.6; Heb. 13.5). With us in transit. Always.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Heb. 13.8)

“Let us cross over to the other side…” Words of Love.

For reflection
1. In what sense is a righteous friend’s rebuke a “word of love”?

2. What can we do to increase our faith in Jesus?

3. Suppose God called you to rebuke a Christian friend. What would you do make sure you did that in love?

So we see that the fear that tests faith is not evil in itself, until it becomes excessive. This excess occurs when the tranquility of faith is troubled or disquieted, when it ought to stop and rest in the Word of God. Heinrich Bullinger (1504-1575), An Ecclesiasticall Exposition upon Saint Matthewe 8.5

Pray Psalm 141.1-4, 8-10.
Call on the Lord to guard your heart and your lips today, so that you praise and serve Him with all your words and works. Set your mind on the things that are above, and strive to keep it there throughout the day.

Sing Psalm 141.1-4, 8-10.
(Truro: Shout, for the Blessed Jesus Reigns)
O Lord, we call to You in prayer! To us come quickly; hear our cry!
Receive our prayer as incense sweet, our lifted hands as a sacrifice!

Lord, set a guard upon my mouth; let not my heart to evil bend,
nor let me work iniquity in company with wicked men.

We lift our eyes to You, O Lord, and refuge seek; Lord, save our soul!
From every trap and snare redeem; deliver us and make us whole.

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can download all the studies in our Luke series by clicking here.

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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.

T.M. Moore

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

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