90 Day Challenge – Day 79

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Bible Time Period: Messianic Fulfillment

You sent your only Son, Jesus Christ the Messiah, to fulfill all your promises: Give me new life in him.

Reflection

After being tempted in the desert down south near Jerusalem, Jesus returns to Galilee (up north) by the power of the Holy Spirit.  The description of his ministry there continues through chapter 9.

Pay particular attention to his so-called “Sermon on the Plain” starting in 6:19.  His message that humility and love of enemies will usher in the kingdom is radically new to a people expecting an earthly kingdom established through military means.

Today’s Reading

Luke 5-8

Today’s Question

What types of actions characterize Jesus’ ministry in these chapters?

Join the discussion below!

Sarah Christmyer

Sarah Christmyer is co-developer with Jeff Cavins of The Great Adventure Catholic Bible study program. She serves as Strategic Consultant of The Great Adventure and is author or co-author of a number of the studies. Sarah has thirty years of experience leading and teaching Bible studies. She helped launch Catholic Scripture Study and is co-author of "Genesis Part I: God and His Creation" and "Genesis Part II: God and His Family," published by Emmaus Road. Sarah has a BA in English literature from Gordon College in Wenham, MA, and is working toward a Masters of Theology at St. Charles Borromeo Seminary in Philadelphia. Raised in a strong evangelical family, she was received into the Catholic Church in 1992. Sarah also writes at comeintotheword.com/.

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  • Margie

    This new covenant through Jesus is so representative of God’s love for all the people, the descendants of Abraham. Jesus has no animosity towards the doubters who wish to destroy him, only patience and logic for anything they question. Jesus’s entire ministry is based on the purity of love. Loving and healing the lowly, the sick. the outcasts and with his sermons Jesus explains who he is not and who he is. What a blessing it must have been to be In the presence of Jesus at that time.

  • Susan

    Jesus’ teachings are very personal or, may I say, individualized structured so his audience will understand them as the teachings relate to their own lives. The use of parables gives his audience a look at their own lives in a new way and guides them in understanding of what he is wanting for them. Additionally, Jesus is using “proofs” of who he is through the healings and other miracles so people have no ability to deny what is happening in their midst. This is truly remarkable in a country and time when the people are told what to think and do by the religious aficionados without the intent for them to truly understand.

  • Janet

    Jesus’ ministry is about teaching, mainly through parabels. He’s performing many miracles, showing absolute proof that He is who He says He is…the Son of God in the flesh, sent by the Father. I think about whether I would believe in Jesus if He appeared in this day and age. Being a trusting (and some might say gullible) person, I think I would. But I know that many people need scientific proof of anything miraculous, and even then they want to find a reason why the miraculous is simply impossible. But with God, ALL things are possble!
    With these four chapters being chock full of miracles and parabels, who could not believe that Jesus is the Messiah? Those full of pride and full of themselves. Jesus’ loving, gentle, giving nature must have been so incredibly threatening to those in power who wanted everyone to look at them and hang on their every word the way many did with Jesus.
    Thank you, Lord, for giving us Your Son, His inspiring teachings and Your Word, that is every bit as relevant today as 2,000+ years ago, to hang onto and follow! Amen.

  • Kevin

    I just love reading all the posts here, they cover everything so well! I do not think I can add to any of them!
    I do think I got something here today that I did not previously understand in Luke 5: 36-39

    36And he also told them a parable. “No one tears a piece from a new cloak to patch an old one. Otherwise, he will tear the new and the piece from it will not match the old cloak. 37Likewise, no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the new wine will burst the skins, and it will be spilled, and the skins will be ruined. 38Rather, new wine must be poured into fresh wineskins. 39[And] no one who has been drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’”

    I think I got today, that he was pointing out several differences…

    No-one should take a perfectly good/complete cloak (Jesus new teachings), and cut only a piece of it to cover a “Thin Spot” in the Old Testament teachings/laws because it would not fit well. It would end up making both look worse/wrong. Rather take the new cloak (teachings) as a whole and wear them over the top of the old cloak.

    and/or

    He is not trying to “Patch up” or Repair, or the teachings of the old testament with his new teachings. They should be considered new and whole. Keep the old as backing for the new. i.e. added insulation/protection, but wear the new on top, for all to see in it’s wholeness.

    People who have thoroughly learned the laws of the Old Testament (pharisees) vs people who have not been engrained in the laws of O.T. (gentiles) and not already set in their old ways.

    New wine has a tendency to continue working/fermenting, causing gas(co2) pressure that would likely burst an old stiff-necked wine skin(pharisee), thus wasting the wine(Jesus words) onto the ground.
    A new wine skin would still be soft/flexible, and would simply stretch to accept what was in there. (an eager to learn Gentile)

    I think He was showing why he was teaching to the Gentiles(new audience, new wineskin) rather than the Pharisees, where his words would be wasted.

    • pnkyB4brain

      Kevin, I loved the way you put this all together! You are so right about the Pharisees and their not wanting to change anything that would interfere with the “comfort” of their lives.

    • Susan

      Thank you for your explanation of the understanding you reached by reading today’s chapters; I can see exactly what the messages are now when as I read them I had an inkling but not a clear understanding. Your explanation was quite valuable and full of insight. Thank you so much for taking the time to tell us what you learned.

  • Marian Potts

    Jesus brought the Father’s love and care to His children, by healing, raising the dead, and by preaching the lessons of the kingdom so that they would walk in newness of life.

  • Fisher

    An excellent reflection on today’s Scripture/question would be to pray the Scriptural Rosary – the Luminous Mysteries. God bless Saint John Paul II, and may he intercede for us as we pray our way toward the same call to sainthood through discipleship as Jesus teaches us by his perfect example.

  • pnkyB4brain

    The question for today is ‘What actions characterized Jesus’ ministry in these chapters’? I thought about this for a while, and came up with every synonym I could ever think of that can extol Jesus’ actions as a teacher. He was and is knowledgeable, benevolent, sagacious, understanding, loving…the list can go on for all eternity. One lesson I garnered from the reading today is that Jesus is the Son of Man and He came to save us. Praise be to You, Almighty Father and Son and Holy Spirit!

  • Jesus begins by choosing his inner circle. Teaching is the main theme, in which Jesus’ most famous sermon, the Sermon on the Mount, takes place. He also begins the exorcisms, miracles and healing while he teaches, as well as why the people should also respond favorably to His kingdom. It is in these chapters that Jesus further demonstrates His power over sickness, disease, and death and his authority to forgive sins, which account for His widespread fame, as well as the beginning of the Pharisees belief about Jesus’ sacrilegious or irreverent speech about God. Jesus speaks of His new way of doing things, which is fundamentally, I suggest, incompatible with Judaism’s old way. He clearly demonstrates his Messiahship in these chapters.

  • Barbara Ann Baugh

    What stands out to me how forgiveness and and healing are linked. Also when and where Jesus forgives sins and heals Jesus heals and forgives on the Sabbath. He also allows his Apostles to prepare food on the Sabbath
    This brings to mind that truely keeping the Sabbath means service to others. Also you can attend that awesome K of C pancake brunch

    • Rosi

      I love the K of C’s breakfasts!!!

  • Carla Archuleta

    Jesus moved from place to place and everywhere he went he shared act of forgiveness (nonstop). The 12 chosen apostles witnessed his acts as well as the people he visited. Miracle after miracle was poured out with a lot of LOVE from Jesus. This era witnessed Jesus physically and were healed of diseases…cleansing of sin, sin, sin. Jesus his testimony to Solomon and others brought his character forward showing them his purpose for life by God the Father. I so want to keep strengthening my faith in Jesus. Holy Spirit give me continues strength to live a holier life ALL for You…I so love and trust You!. Amen

  • Avila

    I feel breathless having read these chapters as there is so much in them. What struck me was the way He turns things on their head, away from our logic. He says that the poor, suffering and grieving are blessed – yet these are the situations where rationally we would argue that there is nothing great about any of that. On the surface it seems ridiculous but digging deeper, I sort of grasp it. All the not so nice looking things are painful, but they strengthen us, make us aware of our frailty and weakness, help us to help others. All the good things seem great, but what do they teach us about God, life, compassion and giving?

    Through suffering, an extremely impatient person developed patience, learned to listen beyond garbled words, seek the real person hidden within, find inner joy amid tears, repay anger with gentleness and forgiveness, and so much more. None of which would have been possible without God working through the suffering and grieving.

  • mg

    These chapters are simply so refreshing to read. I love reading about Jesus’ teaching and healing and special focus on the sinner. What sheer amazement the people must have had that are used to fighting and war and battle. Jesus turns their notions upside down.

    I especially love reading the parts about enemies, forgiveness, etc. I remember being in mass after the massacre at Sandy Hook and the priest praying for everyone lost, including the shooter. For a long time, I needed to process that and digest that and I will admit it was one of the first times I ever left mass with anger! But if we cannot forgive those we hate, if we cannot take in our enemies and spread love and joy to them, what message do we send to others.

    May God and my fellow believers support and guide me to be more like Jesus everyday in being able to be an example of His way to those that I may consider an enemy or “hated”. Help me spread mercy and compassion to those that need it the most, not for me, but for my God. Help be a light for those in their darkest hours, and not categorize them as friends or enemies, but rather as on people that desperately need light. And help me be the light for one and all. Amen!

  • Marianne

    What rich morsels we have been given to ingest in today’s readings! Scriptures are indeed the Food from Heaven that today we receive directly from Jesus Himself!

    Jesus’ ministry is one of healing and mercy. The Pharisees are upset because they are so hung up on “rules”. They are so concerned with following their rules that they neglect to show compassion for their fellow man. They become even more upset because Jesus forgives sins before He heals. They have the “log in their eye” that prevents them from seeing that forgiveness is the more important healing… Jesus wants to bring those who come to Him closer to God the Father. This forgiveness is very comforting to those He heals because in most cases, the people He healed were outcasts in society… shunned, avoided and unloved by others.

    Jesus’ actions in these chapters are guidelines for how He wants us to live our lives. When He tells the disciples “Follow Me” he means “follow my example”. He is calling US to be His disciples. He has planted the seed, the Word of God, in our hearts.

    And now that we know the Truth, we are called to share it with others. “No one who lights a lamp conceals it with a vessel or sets it under a bed; rather, he places it on a lampstand so that those who enter may see the light.” (Luke 8:16) Now that our Lamp has been lit, we are to Shine so that others may be drawn to the Light that they see within us.

    • Fisher

      Looks like we are on the same wavelength today!

      • Marianne

        I’ve notice that we are on the same wavelength a lot!!!

        • Fisher

          Yes – very cool.

    • Barbara Ann Baugh

      Back in the days when I was young right after Vatican II, I got into a very friendly conversation with devote Lutheran co-worker, We were playing a sort of game or “what Biblical person would you be?” I said that I would most probably be a Pharisee. I still think that is true today. I would not be one that was always plotting, but I would find it hard to reach out to the Gentiles.

  • Fisher

    In all kinds of ways, mostly violent, these people had it beaten into them that they must remain separate from the aliens around them. At this point, th

    • Beverly Hagar-Schmerse

      This is what I totally love about Jesus…this is what draws me to Him…His mercy for all others…

      • Fisher

        I could not agree more. It is also brilliantly reflected in our amazing Pope Francis. What a light in the darkness he is, distributing the same mercy today for a world that continues to be starved for evidence and experience of Christ’s grace.

  • pnkyB4brain

    Jesus, Our Savior taught the good news about the kingdom of God to the common folk at that time. I would think hearing the parables would be a stress reducer for those living a hard life and to hear great news about the kingdom of God was uplifting and ever so heartwarming. Although Jesus respected the laws set forth by the Jewish religion, He presented a different slant upon how to live your life. Jesus emphasized being fair to your neighbor and loving God with your whole being.
    With prayer and assistance from Jesus and the saints, may I accomplish that challenge each and everyday.

  • Beverly Hagar-Schmerse

    Thank you Liza and Andy for your comments…these readings touched a nerve in me and I have been mulling them over a couple of hours-unable to comment…for I knew not what I needed to say. I have bipolar illness and have had it for over thirty years…I have struggled with emotional upheaval all that time…Yet God has been my anchor in the storm…God did not keep me from this struggle, but has been there in it with me. I can identify with the Israelites who battled for survival…giving up the battle and just turning it over to God is a very difficult long process that I am learning to do…God continually moves me along on this journey to a deeper relationship with Him…and this forgiveness, and freedom from oppression from sin in my life has been on going…and yes it is transforming. He has been my teacher and my healer all along the way…and I am sure this will continue on for the rest of my life. I offer my little offering for myself and others who are suffering in any way…The Bible is called the Living Word…for so it is…it is still active and alive in our world today…for we see its evidence all around us…let us pray for each other, thanking the Father for giving us such a gracious gift-His Blessed and Holy Son…

    • Liza

      Beverley, thank you for your generosity in sharing this. Jesus works with all the things that need healing in us. I hesitate to say that I have been grateful for the traumas and challenges in my life but I know that through these I have been able to experience healing. We Thank God in all things “it is our duty and our salvation”. God Bless you Beverlley.

      • Beverly Hagar-Schmerse

        Thank you Liza…
        God has led me to write some poetry in the last few weeks…here is one that speaks to what we are saying:
        Our Confirmation Day.

        Blessings
        Thank you for lessons missed; they keep us seeking;
        And those learned; they tell us You are loving.
        Thank you for gifts given; they tell us You are charity itself.
        And those earned; they tell us to keep searching for Yourself.
        Thank you for promises broken; for they teach sacrifice.
        And those kept; they tell us of Your sacrificial promise.
        Thank you for dreams fulfilled; they tell You will always be there.
        And those unmet; because they tell us we will suffer here.
        Thank you for words of acceptance; they tell we are Yours.
        And those of refusal; for God restores.
        Thank you. Lord, for all things;
        That in all things we may find blessings.

    • Fisher

      Prayers for strength and peace coming your way, as well as healing love.

      • Beverly Hagar-Schmerse

        Thank you Fisher…Prayers to you as well…

        • Fisher

          I sure need them! Bless you.

  • Liza

    Jesus is transforming peoples lives: He is healing them from what has trapped them (illness, possession and sin), he is calling people away from one way of life to another (the disciples, prostitutes, tax collectors) and he is teaching them new understanding of the living law. He is already reaching out to the Gentiles and travelling to reach many people (yet his interactions are always personal). The people of God were protected by an external construct of laws to shut out harm, now Jesus looks for internal change. I cannot imagine how shocking it was when he said “Love your enemies” after they had battled for survival for so long and celebrated the defeat of so many enemies! Most significantly, the forgiveness of sin, liberation and freedom from the oppression of this, was and is transforming!

  • Andy

    Jesus’ ministry is characterized by teaching and healing. Thus we are called to share our faith with others and to help ease the suffering of others.

    • Michelle

      Absolutely Andy! I feel like my entire life has been spent dealing with “me” issues and have found my ego is quite enlarged. Over the past few months I have made a conscious effort to follow the rule, “it’s not about me!” What a difference I see in my life. The works of mercy we are called to provide to those in need are a true blessing as we hope to alleviate the sufferings of others. Believe me, I have much to repent for and much room for growth but when I am not concerned about the me in the equation my life does seem so much fuller.