Luke Devotional – Week 6

Rev. Doug Heiman   -  

February 6 – The Gospel of Luke

Luke 8:22-25, One day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go over to the other side of the lake.” So they got into a boat and set out. 23 As they sailed, he fell asleep. A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.

24 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Master, Master, we’re going to drown!”

He got up and rebuked the wind and the raging waters; the storm subsided, and all was calm. 25 “Where is your faith?” he asked his disciples.

In fear and amazement they asked one another, “Who is this? He commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him.”

Jesus’ identity and authority is continuing to be revealed. This time we discover that Jesus is superior to the fiercest storm. The howling wind, the raging waters, and the engulfing waves were no match for the word of God. Jesus simply spoke and all was calm. 

How did Jesus sleep through this? Surely, he was tired from all of His ministry. However, when you are the Son of God you have no worries with what nature can throw at you because you created it by the power of your word. So, you can command it to be obedient, and it will. 

Jesus was giving another huge hint of who He was. Just as His Father spoke the word in creation, He spoke the Word over creation to put it in its place. 

The disciples were afraid because they did not yet fully know who was in the boat with them. Jesus’ gradual revelation of who He really was made their response common for what any of us would have felt and done. 

Jesus asked a great question, “Where is your faith?” In other words, in what are you trusting? 

What a terrific question for us! If we are honest, how would we respond? Is our faith fully in Jesus or is it in our stuff, our job, our family, our intellect, or our abilities?

What is your fear today? Do you know that Jesus is in the boat with you? He is right there in the midst of your storm. Will you call on Him and trust in Him to calm your storm and subdue your fears? 

Prayer: Father, I know you are accompanying me in the storm through Your Holy Spirit. I choose to put my trust completely in You. Thank you for the deep inner peace you bring to me. Amen. 

February 7 – The Gospel of Luke

Luke 8:26-39, They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee.27 When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. 28 When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” 29 For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.

30 Jesus asked him, “What is your name?” “Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. 31 And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss. 32 A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. 33 When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.

34 When those tending the pigs saw what had happened, they ran off and reported this in the town and countryside, 35 and the people went out to see what had happened. When they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone out, sitting at Jesus’ feet, dressed and in his right mind; and they were afraid. 36 Those who had seen it told the people how the demon-possessed man had been cured. 37 Then all the people of the region of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them, because they were overcome with fear. So he got into the boat and left.

38 The man from whom the demons had gone out begged to go with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying, 39 “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him.

This is a remarkable story. The possessed man is one of the worst cases of demon-invasion in Scripture. This miserable man led a lonely and tortured life. Jesus came just for him! No one else was healed. The town people were overcome with fear that someone greater than this mess of a man had set him free and put him at peace. They asked Jesus to leave, and He did. 

Even a legion of demons was no match for Jesus. They recognized Him, like every other demon, as the Son of the Most High God. They pleaded not to go into the Abyss but ended up in the lake. When evil comes face to face with Jesus, it will never prevail. We have this hope that Christ’s reign will put all powers in their place and be subjected to His sovereign rule. 

Unlike the many miracles on the other side of the lake, Jesus told this man to go freely tell how much God had done for him. He obeyed and told how much Jesus had done for him. Do we see the interplay between God and Jesus? Was Luke giving his first-time readers another huge hint that Jesus was more than a prophet, more than the Messiah, but God Himself? 

Are we freely telling how much Jesus has done for us? What will we say if someone asks?

Prayer: Father, I want to be ready to tell others the amazing things You have done in Jesus. Give me confidence to speak that which will bring You much glory. Amen.

February 8 – The Gospel of Luke

Luke 8:40-56, Now when Jesus returned, a crowd welcomed him, for they were all expecting him.41 Then a man named Jairus, a synagogue leader, came and fell at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to come to his house 42 because his only daughter, a girl of about twelve, was dying.

As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. 43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. 44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped. 45 “Who touched me?” Jesus asked. When they all denied it, Peter said, “Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you.” 46 But Jesus said, “Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me.” 47 Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people, she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. 48 Then he said to her, “Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace.”

49 While Jesus was still speaking, someone came from the house of Jairus, the synagogue leader. “Your daughter is dead,” he said. “Don’t bother the teacher anymore.” 50 Hearing this, Jesus said to Jairus, “Don’t be afraid; just believe, and she will be healed.” 51 When he arrived at the house of Jairus, he did not let anyone go in with him except Peter, John and James, and the child’s father and mother. 52 Meanwhile, all the people were wailing and mourning for her. “Stop wailing,” Jesus said. “She is not dead but asleep.” 53 They laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. 54 But he took her by the hand and said, “My child, get up!” 55 Her spirit returned, and at once she stood up. Then Jesus told them to give her something to eat. 56 Her parents were astonished, but he ordered them not to tell anyone what had happened.

While on His way to a synagogue ruler’s dying daughter, Jesus was squeezed by the crushing crowds. A woman who suffered for 12 years made everyone spiritually unclean that she bumped into. It is no wonder she did not want to be identified. She fought through the people to touch the very edge of Jesus’ robe. In the midst of her hopeless discouragement, she chose to believe again and dared to reach out. She was greatly rewarded. Healing ran through her body. 

Jesus wanted to know who made such a deliberate decision which caused power to be released. What he told her is what He tells us. “Your faith has healed you. Go in peace.” Faith is to be our response to Jesus. Faith leads us into God’s peace which is the ultimate goal of His kingdom. The wording could actually be, “Go into peace.” Enter and enjoy the new world of peace given to you. This peace is the Old Testament idea of Shalom which means to be well and made whole in every possible way. Are you enjoying such peace? Do you have faith?   

This miraculous interruption delayed Jesus long enough for the ruler to hear his daughter had died. It gave Jesus an opportunity to raise another child from the dead. The world told the ruler to give up, but Jesus said, “Don’t be afraid, just believe.” By their faith, Jesus spoke new life into the girl. The darkest powers of sickness and death’s hopelessness is no match for Jesus!   

Prayer: Father, thank you for the power of Christ that calls us into Your peace. I give You my hopeless discouragement and darkness and choose to believe that I can enter into Your peace where I am made well and whole in every possible way. Amen.  

February 9 – The Gospel of Luke

Luke 9:1-9, When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirt. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.

Now Herod the tetrarch heard about all that was going on. And he was perplexed because some were saying that John had been raised from the dead, others that Elijah had appeared, and still others that one of the prophets of long ago had come back to life. But Herod said, “I beheaded John. Who, then, is this I hear such things about?” And he tried to see him.

One of the great mysteries of God is that He is so willing to involve us in His work. As flawed and prone to mistakes as we are, He does not want us to miss out on the joy of spreading the good news of His kingdom. He is a power-sharing God. 

He called the 12 together to give them authority to drive out demons and heal diseases. Just as they were for Jesus, the miraculous healings and deliverances were meant to be authenticating signs of the authority the disciples had been given to proclaim the good news that the kingdom of God had broken into the kingdom of the world. 

They would experience an advance foretaste of what was to come. Eventually, all our enemies will be abolished, including enemy #1, death itself. 

They were to go in total faith trusting that God would provide through the hospitality of others. If a certain town would not receive their message, they were to shake the dust off their feet as a sign of God’s judgment that comes to anyone who rejects the incredibly good news that God’s kingdom has come. 

The message of the kingdom is both an open and warm welcome for all to enter in and a stern warning for anyone who refuses to do so. There are eternal consequences for those who fail to accept the good news of Jesus and His message. 

As the ruler of the area, poor Herod had no clue what was going on. He thought he could bully and murder his way against any contrary message opposed to his own kingdom building. In Jesus, he had more than met his match. It is ironically humorous that one with such earthly power and authority tried to see Jesus but could not until Pilate brought Jesus to him at His trial. We discover in Jesus where true power and authority lie. 

Is this a word for us to be careful not to be put too much trust in our earthly leaders who have limited power in comparison to the One in whom all authority has been given? 

Prayer: Father, there is no one greater than You. Forgive me when I trust in the people and powers of this world more than I trust in You who is sovereign in all power and authority forever and ever. Amen.    

February 10 – The Gospel of Luke

Luke 9:10-17, When the apostles returned, they told Jesus everything they had done. Then he slipped quietly away with them toward the town of Bethsaida. 11 But the crowds found out where he was going, and they followed him. He welcomed them and taught them about the Kingdom of God, and he healed those who were sick.

12 Late in the afternoon the twelve disciples came to him and said, “Send the crowds away to the nearby villages and farms, so they can find food and lodging for the night. There is nothing to eat here in this remote place.”

13 But Jesus said, “You feed them.” “But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Or are you expecting us to go and buy enough food for this whole crowd?” 14 For there were about 5,000 men there. Jesus replied, “Tell them to sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 So the people all sat down. 16 Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. 17 They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers!

After the disciples finished their ministry tour, they reported back to Jesus what they had experienced. After such a significant time of ministry, Jesus wanted to quietly go with them to a place for what appeared to be a time of rest. Jesus teaches us a healthy rhythm of life is when we engage heavily in work and ministry for a period of time, but then we take time to rest and re-create ourselves. 

We were created with such a pattern by God Himself. It is in our DNA to rest. It was for our good that God created the Sabbath. Studies reveal that we are most productive when we rest, nap, and take time away. This is not meant to be a legalistic demand but an invitation to enter into God’s best for us. 

Unfortunately for Jesus and his followers, it did not happen that day. Jesus could not go anywhere without being found out. We know the demands of life do not always allow us to rest and recuperate as we need and desire. Rather than complaining about the interruption, Jesus welcomed the crowds and taught them about the kingdom and healed the sick. 

After a long day, the disciples were worried about the large crowd being able to eat so Jesus took the opportunity to teach once again about faith and the kingdom of God. They had too little to feed the crowd but that little in the hands of Jesus became an abundant feast to bless the people with their daily bread. Jesus used His creative powers to multiply little into much. This is the new way in the kingdom where all persons will have their needs met. As Jesus preached earlier, “Blessed are the hungry for they will be satisfied.”

You may think you have little to offer Jesus, but go ahead and put it into His hands and see what He does! 

Prayer: Father, thank you for your abundant provision. Whether it is little or much, Jesus, please take, multiply, and use what we have as a blessing for others to enjoy. Amen.

February 11 – The Gospel of Luke

Luke 9:18-27, One day Jesus left the crowds to pray alone. Only his disciples were with him, and he asked them, “Who do people say I am?” 19 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other ancient prophets risen from the dead.”

20 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Peter replied, “You are the Messiah sent from God!” 21 Jesus warned his disciples not to tell anyone who he was. 22 “The Son of Man must suffer many terrible things,” he said. “He will be rejected by the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He will be killed, but on the third day he will be raised from the dead.”

23 Then he said to the crowd, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross daily, and follow me. 24 If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. 25 And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but are yourself lost or destroyed? 26 If anyone is ashamed of me and my message, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in his glory and in the glory of the Father and the holy angels.27 I tell you the truth, some standing here right now will not die before they see the Kingdom of God.”

In light of what happened in yesterday’s Scripture, Jesus found a time and place to be alone and pray. However, I think it is rather telling that for Jesus to be alone, included His disciples being present. For Jesus, to have 12 with you was considered being alone in comparison to the thousands that flocked after you! 

So, Jesus took the opportunity to ask two questions to His disciples. Who do people say I am? It is interesting that the people were thinking he was John the Baptist since Jesus’ ministry overlapped with his for a brief time. The answer of Elijah makes the most sense because he was prophesied to come again, which we now know John the Baptist fulfilled. 

The most important question was who the disciples thought Jesus was. Peter spoke up declaring Jesus was the promised Messiah who had been sent from God. Jesus must have been elated that they were getting it. However, Jesus did not want them to make this known yet to the general public.

Jesus went on to tell them what was going to happen to Him. It went against everything they understood the Messiah to be or do as the one who would establish His reign and put Israel back on the map. Jesus would defeat the enemy and re-establish the Temple but in a much different way than was expected. He would give up His life for the victory to be won. 

It did not take long for the crowd to find Jesus. Jesus spoke the core message of who a disciple would be. We must be willing to do what He did. 1. Choose God’s way over our own way. 2. Surrender daily to God’s will 3. Walk with Jesus along His path. The way of salvation is letting go of control and clinging to Jesus with all that we have. Jesus cuts to the chase when He says if we are ashamed of Him now, He will be ashamed of us when He returns in all of His glory. 

Prayer: Father, thank You for the Son who willingly gave up all so that we could enjoy life and life eternal. I choose Jesus’ way. I surrender all and will walk daily with Him. Amen.