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"One of the aboriginal tribes of the South Seas has a rite of passage from boyhood to manhood called a "walkabout." A boy coming to puberty is sent into the jungle for six weeks without food, shelter or weapons. During this time, he must test all of the survival skills he has learned during childhood. He must also be creative when he meets the unexpected. Talk about final examination! One mistake and he is dead. If, however, he survives to walk out of the jungle, he returns to a celebration that honors him as a man, a hunter and a warrior". (David L. McKenna. The Communicator’s Commentary Series: Mark. Volume 2. Dallas: Word Publishing, 1982, p. 41). The testing in the wilderness was Jesus’ equivalent of a "walkabout". Jesus went into His "walkabout" filled with the power of the Holy Spirit (Luke 4:1). And when Jesus left the wilderness, He returned in the power of the Spirit to Galilee (Luke 4:14).
A 30 part study of prayer keys during our Wednesday night prayer meetings? You may think it will become boringly repetitive. No, No, NOOOO!
During this study, we will hear how Mary, Queen of Scots, feared the prayers of John Knox more than the combined armies of Europe. We will hear Jonathan Edwards’ prayer before the First Great Awakening. We will hear how a sickly David Brainerd, dying of tuberculosis, with his back turned to Indian warriors intent on killing him, overcame because his face was turned to God.
In modern times, we will hear about how Helen Roseveare, missionary to Zaire, is brought to tears as God answers a little girl’s prayer for a dying infant.
These illustrations and many more will be worth being here for the series. Of course, the greatest illustration of the need for prayer and the power of prayer is Jesus himself.
For three years, the disciples learned by hearing Jesus preach and teach “as one who has authority.” They heard the sermon on the mount preached by the Son of God. They heard him condemn self-righteous Pharisees and encourage a woman caught in adultery to “go and sin no more.” The disciples heard Jesus command the wind and waves (and witnessed their obedience). They heard him forgive sins. I suspect that they somehow knew the sins were forgiven.
For three years, the disciples learned by watching Jesus do the impossible. They saw him heal the deaf, the blind, the lame, and the sick. They saw him feed 5,000 men plus women and children with a boy’s lunch. They saw him cast out demons. They saw him raise the dead.
Incredibly, they did not ask Jesus to “teach us to teach and preach with authority.” They did not ask Jesus to “teach us to feed a multitude with a little.” They did not ask Jesus to “teach us to overcome disease, demons, and death.”
Jesus was God incarnate. His divine power was beyond human comprehension. But the disciples noticed something he did that they could learn.
Luke 11:1 - One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord teach us... to pray.”
We are not asked to believe the doctrine of the Resurrection. We are asked to meet this person raised from the dead.
Larson, B., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1983). Vol. 26: The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volume 26 : Luke. The Preacher’s Commentary series (349). Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Inc.
A friend in Montana told me about a sheepherder who discovered oil on his land and became enormously rich. One of the first things he bought was a Rolls Royce limousine, the kind usually driven by a chauffeur who sits in front of a glass partition. When the sheepherder brought this splendid car in for service, the mechanic was properly impressed. “What a marvelous machine,” he said. “What do you like best about it?” “Well,” said the sheepherder, “I can take my sheep to market now without having them lick my neck.”
FORGIVE AND FORGET
There's a wonderful story about the cardinal of the Philippines, named, oddly enough, Cardinal Sin. When Cardinal Sin was a bishop, a young woman in his parish claimed that she had visions of Jesus. Bishop Sin was given the task of determining if these visions were authentic. He called her in for an interview, after which he made this request: "Daughter, the next time you see Jesus, would you ask Him what sin your bishop committed as a young priest and then come and tell me His answer." She agreed. The bishop, aware that nobody knew his sin except himself, his confessor, and Jesus, felt this would be a valid test.
Months later the young woman returned, reporting she had seen Jesus again. The bishop said, "Good. Did you ask Him about my sin?"
She said, "Yes,"
"What did He say?"
"He said, 'I've forgotten.'"
(Larson, B., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1983). Vol. 26: The Preacher’s Commentary Series, Volume 26 : Luke. The Preacher’s Commentary series (314). Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Inc.)
I heard about a man who asked his wife to balance the checkbook. He came home that night to find she had four neatly typed pages, detailing all the expenses of the past months--the milkman, the cleaners, the grocery store, and many others. One entry read, "E.S.P. $24.21." "What does that mean?" he asked.
"Error Some Place," she explained.
Larson, B., & Ogilvie, L. J. (1983). Vol. 26: The Preacher's Commentary Series, Volume 26 : Luke. The Preacher's Commentary series (348). Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson Inc.