In Luke 18 Jesus shared an interesting story about a widow.
The widow had been cheated and was attempting to get justice through the legal system, but things weren’t working out so well. Her appeals were being ignored by a judge whom Jesus referred to as unjust.
We aren’t given any more details. We don’t know who cheated her or how severe the offense was, but as it turns out that information isn’t important.
The point was, as a widow, she had about as much clout as a dead tree. Widows were on society’s bottom wrung, and the judge, who didn’t care about God or people, wasn’t interested in her problem. She was an inconvenience, a gnat to be swatted away.
But she never gave up. She knew the law and she knew her cause was just, so she did the only thing she could. She hounded the judge repeatedly.
And it worked.
He finally realized that processing her legal matter, though inconvenient, was far less bothersome than repeatedly listening to her complaint.
In spite of being marginalized by the system, she found a way to assert her cause.
And Jesus used her as an example. He shared her experience to teach the disciples persistence in prayer. But that explanation leaves us a bit curious. The parable never mentions this woman praying.
In the end of the parable Jesus referred to her as an example of faith and He wondered aloud if that kind of faith would still exist when He returns.
Since prayer and persistence and actions can all be expressions of faith, and that was at least a strong sub point of the parable, we can make several observations about faith. Several of these of these points don’t square with convention.
For example: Read more
Jesus Saves At Any Time
In Any Place
Jesus isn’t a tardy Savior. He doesn’t wait. He is never late. He works immediately. His response is without hesitation.
We always talk about Jesus being a willing Savior, and He is, but that isn’t the entire message. He’s more than just willing. He is constantly ready.
He described Himself as seeking the lost, which means He doesn’t sit in one place and wait for people to come to Him.
Jesus wants to save. His desire never wanes.
Even in His human state, dragging around a physical body, His need for rest never got in the way of ministry (Mark 6:31-44).
And now in His glorified state, He never tires. Jesus is ready to save 24/7/365.
There’s no afternoon slump. He’s never bored with the humdrum of life or put off by the unexpected. According to Him, He is always ready.
Truly, truly, I say unto you. He that hears my word and believes on Him that sent me has everlasting life and shall not come into condemnation but is passed from death unto life.
In other words, Read more
A Meeting With Jesus
Can’t Be Mistaken
For Anything Else
Jesus was certain about salvation. There was nothing evasive or ambiguous in what he said or what He taught.
He was clear. He was definite. He didn’t leave us guessing.
His purpose statement is anything but vague:
The Son of Man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. (Luke 19:10)
And John, speaking of salvation said:
As many as received Him, to them gave he the power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name. (John 1:12)
There’s no uncertainty here and it’s simple. Believe and receive. It’s a guarantee.
There’s also no application process, no waiting period or probationary phase. Read more
Jesus Could Do
Anything And Everything
But He Hasn’t
Jesus isn’t a rabbit’s foot, four leaf clover, wishbone or lucky charm.
Plastic replicas of Him on the dashboard will not keep you safe.
Any one of those things may salve you psychologically, and I’m happy for you if they help, but trinkets around your neck do not save.
I don’t doubt Jesus wants all of us to be safe. I also don’t think it’s His wish or will for anyone to hurt, get sick or die ever, for any reason, but we do. He doesn’t prevent these pains. Bad things happen occasionally. It’s inevitable.
We need to be honest with the facts. To believe Jesus is the Savior for every possible bad experience, makes Him a failure and us dupes.
But if our understanding of salvation is a little more focused, if we allow limits on what we expect, then we can eliminate several things from salvation’s list. For example: Read more
Filed under: Bible Study, Church, Ministry Methods of Jesus
The Popular Savior Didn’t Work
The Personal Savior Did
Jesus was and is a personal Savior.
Not a celebrity Savior. Not a professional Savior.
You don’t need an appointment with Jesus. You won’t need to locate Jesus or travel to where He works because He’s never far away. He doesn’t maintain office hours and He isn’t limited to one location.
He’s mobile. He finds you and hangs around.
He’s very hands-on. He ministered to people individually in the New Testament and still does that today. Mass meetings weren’t His style. He spent most of His time teaching small groups of people. Often it was just the 12 disciples.
He drew big crowds but not on purpose. Even when surrounded by masses, He remained focused on individuals.
- He spoke to and healed the man born blind in Jerusalem.
- He healed the Centurion’s servant, and although He never saw or spoke directly to the Centurion or the servant, the healing sent a very personal message to the Centurion.
- He healed Peter’s mother-in-law while staying in Peter’s house. The place of healing can’t be more personal.
- Jesus touched a leper to signal a healing. That was seriously personal. Lepers were touch starved. It couldn’t have been more psychologically (personally) medicinal.
In some cases He took individuals away from the crowd to do His work.
- The deaf mute along the Sea of Galilee is a good example.
He was celebrated but His celebrity never influenced how He conducted His ministry. He could work quietly in the background or in the middle of a crowd. He maintained focus in all situations. When surrounded and pressed by onlookers, He managed to single out the needy person and minister to them individually.
Crowds were a barrier but not for Jesus. They got in the way of individuals seeking for Jesus.
- The woman who suffered with a medical problem for 12 years. The crowd was so problematic, her only option was to touch the hem of Jesus’ garment.
- The bed bound cripple carried by four friends who was barricaded from Jesus by the crowd.
- Zacchaeus whose short stature made him climb a tree just to get a glimpse of Jesus as He walked by.
The crowd isn’t an intermediary. In fact, salvation requires no intermediaries. Jesus doesn’t work from a distance. He doesn’t save in person but He always saves personally.