The One Year New Testament

May 26

Luke 4:31-44

Luke 4:31-44

31 And he went down to Capernaum, a city of Galilee. And he was teaching them on the Sabbath, 32 and they were astonished at his teaching, for his word possessed authority. 33 And in the synagogue there was a man who had the spirit of an unclean demon, and he cried out with a loud voice, 34 “Ha! What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God.” 35 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent and come out of him!” And when the demon had thrown him down in their midst, he came out of him, having done him no harm. 36 And they were all amazed and said to one another, “What is this word? For with authority and power he commands the unclean spirits, and they come out!” 37 And reports about him went out into every place in the surrounding region.

38 And he arose and left the synagogue and entered Simon's house. Now Simon's mother-in-law was ill with a high fever, and they appealed to him on her behalf. 39 And he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her, and immediately she rose and began to serve them.

40 Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them. 41 And demons also came out of many, crying, “You are the Son of God!” But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Christ.

42 And when it was day, he departed and went into a desolate place. And the people sought him and came to him, and would have kept him from leaving them, 43 but he said to them, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns as well; for I was sent for this purpose.” 44 And he was preaching in the synagogues of Judea.

Reflection

The authority of Jesus was apparent immediately in his ministry. Not only were people amazed by the authoritative power of his teaching (Luke 4:32), but they also witnessed his power over demonic forces (vv. 33–36, 41) and illness (vv. 38–40). It was clear that Jesus was no ordinary man, and the people of Capernaum were eager to hear and see more (v. 42). Jesus, however, was also eager to be faithful to his mission of spreading the good news of the kingdom of God to additional places (v. 43).

God’s mission requires us to be disciple-making disciples of Christ (Matt. 28:18–20). Like those in Capernaum, we must hunger for more of Jesus; and like Jesus, we must also maintain the impulse to keep the gospel message spreading into the lives of others —even to the ends of the earth (cf. Acts 1:8).

Ephesians 3:1-13

Ephesians 3:1-13

For this reason I, Paul, a prisoner for Christ Jesus on behalf of you Gentiles— assuming that you have heard of the stewardship of God's grace that was given to me for you, how the mystery was made known to me by revelation, as I have written briefly. When you read this, you can perceive my insight into the mystery of Christ, which was not made known to the sons of men in other generations as it has now been revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. This mystery is that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.

Of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God's grace, which was given me by the working of his power. To me, though I am the very least of all the saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ, and to bring to light for everyone what is the plan of the mystery hidden for ages in God who created all things, 10 so that through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. 11 This was according to the eternal purpose that he has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, 12 in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him. 13 So I ask you not to lose heart over what I am suffering for you, which is your glory.

Reflection

Paul goes through a lot of theology in Ephesians 3:1–12 to get to his conclusion in verse 13. He does not want the Ephesians to be overly concerned for him. He may be suffering for the gospel, but they should not lose heart —and Paul has not lost heart —because the glory of the gospel is more significant than his suffering. The mystery of the gospel (vv. 2–6), the ministry of the gospel (vv. 7–9), and the wisdom of the gospel (vv. 10–12) make “counting the cost” an easy calculation. Our lives and ministry may require painful sacrifices and challenging trials, but the gloriousness of our inheritance is beyond comparison (2 Cor. 4:16–18).

Psalm 37:34

Psalm 37:34

34 Wait for the Lord and keep his way,
and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
you will look on when the wicked are cut off.

Thoughts For Prayer

Our ability to resist the powerful desires of sin is strengthened as we consider the inheritance that is to come. Ask God to give you a heart that longs for your eternal home so that you will not invest your life in the temporary sinful pleasures that will disappear when this world is gone.

Missions Prayer Requests More

  • May 26, 2019

    Supported Workers: Jeffrey & Katherine Robinson

    Country: United States of America

    Pray for Sebastian and the leaders of the Nathaniel Church in Leipzig, Germany as they continue to shepherd and guide their church with wisdom and love. The challenges facing them in post-Christian Europe seem, at times, overwhelming. Pray that they would have the moral courage and strength to guide and love the faithful amidst strong criticism - if not disdain - from a secular society.

    Lesotho (Africa). The mountain populations of 600,000 are among the poorest and most vulnerable. Nominally Christian, they have little contact with the life-giving gospel. Lesotho’s churches are beginning to wake up to this challenge. Many villages are only accessible on horseback, others by MAF plane. Pray for fruitful and sustainable ministry that yields thriving churches.