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The Scriptorium

Where the Blessings Are

It's no secret. Luke 11.27, 28

Luke 11, Part 2 (3)

Pray Psalm 19.12-14.
Who can understand his errors?
Cleanse me from secret faults.
Keep back Your servant also from presumptuous sins;
Let them not have dominion over me.
Then I shall be blameless,
And I shall be innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
Be acceptable in Your sight,
O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.

Sing Psalm 19.12-14.
(St. Christopher: Beneath the Cross of Jesus)
Who, Lord, can know his errors? O keep sin far from me!
Let evil rule not in my soul that I may blameless be.
Oh, let my thoughts, let all my words before Your glorious sight
be pleasing to You, gracious Lord, acceptable and right.

Read Luke 11.1-28; meditate on verses 27, 28.

1. Whom did the woman wish to see blessed?

2. Whom did Jesus say would be blessed?

Jesus did not rebuke this woman who, caught up in the power of His teaching, called down the blessing of God on His mother. We can only speculate about what she was thinking. Perhaps this was just a colloquialism intended both to honor Jesus and His mother for the evidence of grace in His ministry.

But Jesus pointed out that the call for blessing was too narrow. God has more blessings to bestow than just to Mary and Jesus. All may expect to know the blessings of the Lord “who hear the word of God and keep it!”

Two disciplines are inferred. First, we must hear the Word. We must make daily time for hearing the Word of God – reading, meditating, listening to it read or taught. And we must hear with understanding, for the Greek verb implies both ideas. So it’s not enough merely to read or listen. We must ponder, reflect, pray for insight and understanding, perhaps do some journaling to sort out our thoughts, consult with others (commentators, for example), and make every effort to understand what we’ve read or heard.

Second, we must keep that which we have heard with understanding. That is, we must guard it carefully, making sure to apply it to our lives, lest what we have learned avail us nothing at all. We must carry out the Word, and to that end, we must seek the mercy and grace of God to help us in all our times of need. The more we hear, understand, and keep the Word, the more the Word and Spirit of God shape us into the likeness of Jesus (2 Cor. 3.12-18). And this is when we know the blessings of God – His favor, Presence, peace, joy, and grace to serve others.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
This loud and boisterous woman stopped the conversation as Jesus, the Son of God, was speaking about filling cleaned-out and repentant hearts with the Holy Spirit, and of the dangers of not filling that space with the Bread of Life. And “as He spoke these things” this woman interrupted Him with inappropriate shouting about nursing breasts. I don’t care what century you’re from, that’s not a pleasing compliment to anyone’s ears.

But Jesus, showed her grace. As He always did and still does for us, because I’m sure we have said some things along the way that are equally as looney. But then He doubled down on the truth. “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it!” (Lk. 11.28) That is the quintessential issue that every believer in every century must deal with. Then and now and into the future. Are we going to keep God’s Laws? What are we going to do with what we read, hear, and know? Will we do what Jesus has commanded us? Or will we simply ignore God’s Words?

Wisdom cried out: “Now therefore, listen to me, my children,
for blessed are those who keep my ways.
Hear instruction and be wise, and do not disdain it.
Blessed is the man who listens to me,
watching daily at my gates, waiting at the posts of my doors.
For whoever finds me finds life, and obtains favor from the LORD;
but he who sins against me wrongs his own soul; all those who hate me love death” (Prov. 8.32-36; 1 Cor. 16.22).

“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves” (Jms. 1.22).
“Hear the words of this covenant and do them…Obey My voice” (Jer. 11.6, 7).
“But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does” (Jms. 1.25).

God in His mercy and grace will overlook the inappropriate and looney things that we might inadvertently say or do; but He will not overlook our laziness of obedience. We must be very careful to hear God’s Words and keep them as that is the crux of our faith. “LORD, I hope for Your salvation, and I do Your commandments” (Ps. 119.166).

In obedience is where the blessings are.

For reflection
1. What are the blessings we should seek above all from the Lord?

2. Why is obedience to God’s Word integral to gaining those blessings?

3. How can we encourage our Christian brothers and sisters to seek the blessings of the Lord?

Christ led the woman to a higher consideration. Though it is a great privilege to hear the word of God, yet those only are truly blessed, that is, blessed of the Lord, that hear it, keep it in memory, and keep to it as their way and rule. Matthew Henry (1662-1714), Commentary on Luke 11.27, 28

Pray Psalm 19.7-11.
Thank and praise the Lord for His Word. Be specific. Praise Him for ways you have seen His Word work in your life. Ask Him to grant you more grace to hear, learn, and obey more of His Word.

Sing Psalm 19.7-11.
(St. Christopher: Beneath the Cross of Jesus)
The Law of God is perfect, His testimony sure.
The simple man God’s wisdom learns, the soul receives its cure.
God’s Word is right, and His command is pure, and truth imparts.
He makes our eyes to understand; with joy He fills our hearts.

The fear of God is cleansing, forever shall it last.
His judgments all are true and just, by righteousness held fast.
O seek them more than gold most fine, than honey find them sweet;
Be warned by every word and line; be blessed with joy complete.

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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