Saturday, June 21, 2014

Where the People Are (Luke 8:1,2)

Soon afterwards, He began going around from one city and village to another, proclaiming and preaching the kingdom of God. The twelve were with Him, and also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and sicknesses: Mary who was called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, (Luke 8:1, 2 NASB)

Matthew Henry, the 17th century preacher and theologian, commenting on the itinerant nature of Jesus's ministry, wrote, "He did not confine himself to one place, but diffused the beams of his light." Isn't that a lovely word picture? Some of the flashlights now available are so bright that they illuminate the path nicely. Pointed directly at your eyes, however, they are a harsh and painful, focused beam at which you cannot help but turn away. Contrast that beam with His diffusing. Jesus did not position Himself in one place and use the bully pulpit to harangue and abuse. He went where the people were, and offered truth with love.

Speaking of "where the people were", it is important to note where Jesus went to preach.  "From one city and village to another" is a beautiful phrase for those in the most remote locations. Most evangelists aim for the largest cities, that they might reach the biggest crowds. Jesus, however, stopped at the largest town and the smallest village. He came for everyone, not just the more sophisticated city dweller. He came for those in the smallest hamlet with the simplest lifestyles, as well those in palaces with the most pampered lifestyles. No one was excluded. 

As one who resides in what is a tiny village even by Biblical standards, I can well imagine the great joy with which the people in the villages received Jesus. They had likely been overlooked and ignored by the establishment and treated as of little importance by those who took note. It must have been unbelievable to them that the itinerant preacher and miracle-worker they had heard so much about was coming to their little village!

This going to all should not be surprising to us, for our Lord was very clear about His purpose. Speaking later in Luke's gospel, Jesus said of Zaccheus, "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost." (Luke 19:10 NASB) Jesus wasn't just interested in a big crowd. He was seeking for lost people, wherever they might be found. As disciples of Jesus, we, too, should be seeking for lost people and bringing them to the One who loves them most, but are we?  

Pray today that we will have a seeking heart that finds those who need Jesus and brings them to Him. Pray, too, that our loved ones who are far from Jesus will be drawn to our Lord's ever-seeking, prevenient grace. 
Link to last night's post by Mamie the Apprentice Wonder Puppy is here: