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Advent Day 7

Dec 7, 2019    Luke 7
In Chapter Seven, the Messiah heals from a distance, without even having to be where the person is. The often-missed principle here is one of the reasons why – verse five says that the centurion LOVED ISRAEL and built them a synagogue. This follows the unilateral, unconditional promise God made to Abraham in Genesis 12:3, “Those who bless you I will bless, and those who curse you I will curse.” This centurion had displayed a love for Israel that probably violated the behavior of his superiors. Next, Jesus teaches concerning prayer. He wants us to be persistent in asking, seeking and knocking on the door to God's loving desire to be the Good Shepherd to His flock. Also, in this chapter, Jesus raises the dead. Only God can do this; thus, pointing to the hypostatic union – He is the God/Man Kinsman Redeemer promised in Micah 5:2 and Isaiah 9:6. John the Baptist, later in the chapter, is about to die and wants to make sure Jesus is the Messiah. For much of Jesus’ early ministry, John was in prison and didn't get to see His miracles proving that He indeed was the Messiah. Jesus quotes Isaiah back to John, putting his heart at rest. Note in verse 31, the phrase Jesus uses – “this generation”. This will begin to appear frequently in Luke’s gospel. The Pharisees, who rejected John the Baptist, were characterized as children who always insist on their own way, having a tendency to rebel. The real reason John the Baptist was rejected was because he would not succumb to the oral law, which began 200 years before Jesus. This oral law became a prism used by Satan to deceive the Jews in misinterpreting the text. From this point on in Luke, we will see a greater open rejection of the King (Jesus), just as we saw the rejection of John the Baptist by the Pharisees. Questions for Reflection: This ministry of John the Baptist was a difficult one - outright rejection, imprisonment, and eventually execution. Yet he was the forerunner to the Messiah Jesus. What does suffering look like for us in the West? How can we learn to suffer well - as John the Baptist did? Take time to pray for the persecuted church. A good resource is icommittopray.com