What Jesus Did! 'God Cares for More Than Just Us!' — Luke 4:25-27

Friday, February 27, 2015

"What I say is true. During the time of Elijah it did not rain in Israel for three and a half years. There was no food anywhere in the whole country. There were many widows in Israel during that time. But Elijah was sent to none of those widows {in Israel}. Elijah was sent only to a widow in Zarephath, a town in Sidon. And there were many people with leprosy living in Israel during the time of the prophet Elisha. But none of those people were healed; the only one was Naaman. And Naaman was from the country of Syria, {not from Israel}."
— Luke 4:25-27
Illustration of Luke 4:25-27 — "What I say is true."

Key Thought

God didn't love Israel to just love Israel. God chose Abraham and his descendants through Isaac to bring his gracious blessings to all people. God loves all people—people of all races, of all cultures, and of all languages. So not only does he want us to minister to the broken and the outcast, but he also wants us to minister to the broken and outcast of even our "enemies" and those who do not share our faith. Jesus reminds us of this with two startling examples—the widow of Zarephath and Naaman. Both of these were non-Israelites and one was the leader of an enemy—a stark reminder that loving our enemies and caring for those we may not perceive as redeemable is not a theory, but a passion for the God of all redemption.

Today's Prayer

Open my eyes, LORD, and open the eyes of your people. While our world struggles with conflict and hatred, please use us to be your ambassadors of reconciliation and redemption. Give us courage to share your grace in places and with people who need it regardless of their race, culture, or language. Use us to touch the nations with your grace. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Jesus went back to Galilee with the power of the Holy Spirit. Stories about Jesus spread all over the area around Galilee. Jesus began to teach in the synagogues. All the people praised him. Jesus traveled to Nazareth, the town where he grew up. On the Sabbath day he went to the synagogue like he always did. Jesus stood up to read. The book of Isaiah the prophet was given to him. Jesus opened the book and found the place where this is written: "The Spirit of the Lord (God) has come to me. God chose me to tell good news to people that are poor. God sent me to tell people who are prisoners that they are free, and to tell the blind people that they can see again. God sent me to free the weak people from their suffering and to announce that the time has come for the Lord to show his kindness." Jesus closed the book. He gave the book back to the helper and sat down. Every person in the synagogue watched Jesus closely. Jesus began to speak to them. He said, "While you heard me reading these words just now, the words were coming true!" All the people said good things about Jesus. They were amazed at the beautiful words Jesus spoke. The people said, "{How can he speak like this?} He is only Joseph's son, isn't he?" Jesus said to them, "I know that you will tell me the old saying: 'Doctor, heal yourself.' You want to say, 'We heard about some things that you did in Capernaum. Do those same things here in your own home town!'" Then Jesus said, "I tell you the truth. A prophet is not accepted in his own home town. What I say is true. During the time of Elijah it did not rain in Israel for three and a half years. There was no food anywhere in the whole country. There were many widows in Israel during that time. But Elijah was sent to none of those widows {in Israel}. Elijah was sent only to a widow in Zarephath, a town in Sidon. And there were many people with leprosy living in Israel during the time of the prophet Elisha. But none of those people were healed; the only one wasNaaman. And Naaman was from the country of Syria, {not from Israel}." All the people in the synagogue heard these things. They became very, very angry. The people got up and forced Jesus to go out of town. Their town was built on a hill. They brought Jesus to the edge of the hill. The people wanted to throw him off. But Jesus walked through the middle of them and went away.

Luke 4:14-30

Related Scripture Readings

Jesus said to them, "Remember when I was with you before? I said that everything written about me must happen—everything written in the law of Moses, the books of the prophets, and the Psalms." Then Jesus helped the followers understand these Scriptures written {about him}. Jesus said to them, "It is written that the Christ would be killed and rise from death on the third day. You saw these things happen—you are witnesses. You must go and tell people that their sins can be forgiven. Tell them that they must change their hearts and be sorry for their sins. If they will do this, then God will forgive them. You must start from Jerusalem and tell people these things in my name. This Good News must be told to all people in the world. Listen! My Father has promised you something; I will send it to you. But you must stay in Jerusalem until you have received that power from heaven."

Luke 24:44-49

This was after Jesus' death, but he showed the apostles that he was alive. Jesus proved this by doing many powerful things. The apostles saw Jesus many times during the 40 days after he was raised from death. Jesus spoke to the apostles about the kingdom of God. One time when Jesus was eating with them, he told them not to leave Jerusalem. Jesus said, "The Father has promised you something; I told you about it before. Wait here {in Jerusalem} to receive this promise. John baptized people with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit." The apostles were all together. They asked Jesus, "Lord, is this the time for you to give the Jews their kingdom again?" Jesus said to them, "The Father is the only One who has the authority to decide dates and times. You cannot know these things. But the Holy Spirit will come to you. Then you will receive power. You will be my witnesses—{you will tell people about me}. First, you will tell people in Jerusalem. Then you will tell people in all of Judea, in Samaria, and in every part of the world."

Acts 1:3-8

"I want you Jews to know that God has sent his salvation to the non-Jewish people. They will listen!"

Acts 28:28

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.