Welcome to this Come to Jesus Daily devotional as we continue with our series, ‘Luke - Exploring who Jesus is.’ This week, our devotionals are based on Luke 4:14-30. Today’s devotional is entitled, News about Him Spread.
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‘Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside.’ (Luke 4:14)
Lesson: When the Spirit is at work in a person or church, news about Jesus spreads everywhere.
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Luke in his gospel and the book of Acts speaks a lot on the work of the Spirit. This is a vital theme for all of us. He’s spoken of Spirit’s activity in Jesus’ conception (1:35), His baptism (3:22), His leading into temptation (4:1) and now of how the Spirit’s power causes ‘news about him spread through the whole countryside.’
The Spirit working powerfully in Christ, led to words, works and wonders being done and news about Him spreading everywhere. For example, later in this chapter He will drive out a demon and we read:
‘All the people were amazed and said to each other, “What words these are! With authority and power he gives orders to impure spirits and they come out!” And the news about him spread throughout the surrounding area.’ (Luke 4:36-37)
As we read the accounts of Jesus in Luke and the other gospels, we are to be amazed, worship and allow our faith and admiration in Jesus to rise. However, added to this, is the secondary idea that we are to imitate Jesus and, like Him, do words, works and wonders that cause ’news about him to spread’ everywhere. The book of Acts, also written by Luke, reveals how a Christlike Spirit-filled community is to look. David Garland writes:
‘The significance of Luke 4:14–30 should not be limited to the ministry of Jesus; it also serves as a theological introduction to the early Christian movement as recorded in Acts’
A Spirit-filled church has a great effect on the community around it. As believers go into their everyday lives, they take the gospel and God’s love with them. We read in Luke 24 of our call to be witnesses and of the power of the Spirit:
“Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, ‘This is what is written: the Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (Luke 24:45-49)
This is a great challenge and inspiration to us; if we are not being salt and light, readily sharing the gospel, showing mercy, seeing miracles… in our lives, we must ask if we are truly keeping in step with the Holy Spirit.
When the Spirit is at work in a person or a church, news about Jesus spreads everywhere. Let us pray for ourselves and our churches, that we may become more like Jesus and that news about Him would spread far and wide.
COMMUNITY GROUP NOTES AND STUDY
It might be good to begin with notices. Please share from this week’s Church News.
What has God been speaking to you about from His Word this week and how has this helped you / affected your life?
3. STUDY AND PRAY TOGETHER
Please read Luke 4:14-30
On Sunday we looked at Luke 4:14-30 where Jesus visits His hometown of Nazareth. On the Sabbath, he goes to the synagogue and reads from the book of Isaiah, proclaiming that this prophecy has been fulfilled in him. He is the promised Messiah who would minister to the poor, prisoners, the blind, and the oppressed.
Initially, the listeners in the synagogue responded positively, speaking well of Jesus and being amazed at His gracious words. They were entertained by His speaking abilities, yet the full impact of His message had not yet struck them. They were impressed by the oratory skills of "Joseph's son" (someone from their own community, not highly educated), but their familiarity with Jesus hindered them from truly receiving Him as they should. As the narrative progresses, we will witness their admiration for His speaking mixed with disrespect toward His person transform into outright hatred for Him and His message as He confronts them with their rejection.
What does v.14 tell us about the work of the Holy Spirit in and through a Christian or a church?
What do verses 18-19 tell us about the work that Jesus is doing in this world; and what do these verses tell us about our work in this world?
Familiarity can breed contempt as we see in Jesus’ hometown. Have you grown overfamiliar or do you still have great expectations of what Jesus wants to work in and through us?
SIV - This text is rich in implications for how we do evangelism. How is your Serving, Investing and Inviting going? How can we pray for you about this?
SIV - Pray for one another to be filled with Holy Spirit. Pray that the church will see its mission being carried out under the anointing and power of Holy Spirit.