Summary: Accept God’s way, turn away from your way, then follow His way.
How are you doing in your walk with Jesus? Are you growing? Are you making any headway in your growth as a disciple? Does God ever whack you on the side of the head to get your attention? Has He been doing it lately?
As we have been studying Scripture together, particularly in Luke, we have seen many different encounters that people have had with Jesus. We have learned Biblical principles that need to be applied, as well as warnings to avoid.
Now if you’ve been a student of Scripture any length of time, you know that a person can make Scripture say almost anything they want it to say. They pick a Scripture from here and a Scripture from there, put it together with some clever commentary and come up with something totally contradictory to what the Word of God actually says and teaches, we call that “proof texting.” But that’s not how God teaches. Scripture always needs to be taught in its context, rather than taking things out of contexts with snippets and sound bits like the news channels do.
Now we’ve been spending a lot of time in the Gospel of Luke. We’ve tried to systematically and deliberately go threw it to see what Jesus did and taught, so we can learn and do as He did. We’ve seen what He expected of people, particularly His disciples and what He expects of us today as His disciples. And one of the primary reason we are going through this study this way and providing you each week with a devotional for the next week’s message is because we want you to not only learn from Scripture, but we desire for you to encounter Jesus along the way, to grow and become more like Him in your behavior and attitude.
Now as we go through Luke, you’ll see that Jesus is a master teacher and a phenomenal coach. He always builds on what He just taught and our passage this morning is a classic example.
Two weeks ago we saw that All the people, even the tax collectors, when they heard Jesus’ words, acknowledged that God’s way was right, because they had been baptized by John. 30 but the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John. Luke 7:29-30
We talked about how when the people heard the Word of the Lord, when it whacked them on the side of the head, when the light went on in their souls and their spirit, they had a choice. They could either acknowledge God’s way as right, repent of the way they were going, that’s what the baptism of John was all about and accept God’s purpose for their lives or they could reject it. And that my friend is bottom line Christianity.
So here it is, plain and simple: Accept God’s way, turn away from your way, then follow His way.
Now Jesus, being the master teacher and coach that He is wanted His disciples to not only hear what He was saying, but to get what He was saying. There’s a difference you know! You can come to church, hear God’s Word, nod your head in agreement, throw in a few “Amens”, go home and have it do absolutely nothing in your life.
Why? Because hearing it does not necessarily mean that you get it!
So the people, including the disciples heard Jesus teach about what they needed to do. But instead of just telling them, He showed them! Does the Lord ever show you things? What I mean is that you hear it or are taught it, but then the Lord shows you. He gives you a living, breathing example of it in order to help you get it. Well, that’s exactly what He did.
The Lord showed His disciples in real time, kind of like a reality show, what He was talking about. Jesus was invited by a Pharisee, an expert in the Law to come to dinner. But the Pharisee was pretty rude and inhospitable to Jesus. He had heard what Jesus was saying and He may very well have got it. However, the problem was he didn’t want it!
You can tell from his actions and his attitude that he had already closed Jesus off and he had no intention of acknowledging that God’s way was right, and he rejected God’s purpose for his life.
Now as this is taking place, in comes a woman of the streets. A woman who was considered to be about as far from God as you can get. But instead of rejecting Jesus’ words, (she) acknowledged that God’s way was right, and began to accept God’s purpose for her life.
This woman had taken a bad path and her life wasn’t worth much to write home about.