Summary: What Kind Of Soil Are You? Series: Encountering Jesus (in the Gospel of Luke) Brad Bailey – May 12, 2019
What Kind Of Soil Are You?
Series: Encountering Jesus (in the Gospel of Luke)
Brad Bailey – May 12, 2019
This week I took our new dog to his first day of dog training. He’s a wild… free spirit. So I was nervous. Seriously. I really thought he was going to get kicked out of school…on his first day.
Started off okay….then the trainer said… we’re going to do an exercise focused on having their attention. Attention. Well…by this point my dog had seen birds in the bushes alongside…so as she asked each of us to speak our dogs name and reward his attention… he was turned and looking intently at the bushes.
Like the student sitting in the classroom staring out the window…but there were only 4 dogs total. Needless to say… it was the longest hour of my week.
I have hope. I’ll keep you posted. But it was a reminder that…
Truly hearing is more than mere physiology.
Hearing involve attention… inward attention.
There is an aspect of hearing that is dispositional… that is, how we actually take in what another communicates… is related to our inner disposition.
My dog may hear the sounds of my voice…but the effect depends on his disposition.
What kind of relationship does he want with me?
What other sounds have got his interest?
Many mothers come to know this. There is a difference to how that infant responds to the sound of your voice… with that sweet smile of joy…and how the 14 year old child responds to your voice…which may seem tuned out…at best. The 14 year old’s disposition is in a state of exercising independence…. Highly attuned to other voices… even, while I might add, still with a deep connection to yours.
Today…God asks us … what is our inner disposition?
As we continue in our extended series Encountering Jesus through the Gospel of Luke… we find Jesus speaks to a deeper form of hearing….and attention.
We come to was has been marked at the eighth chapter of Luke.
Luke 8:1-3 (NIV) ?1 After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, 2 and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; 3 Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod's household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.
In these words that lead us into the next encounter… we see Jesus is on the move… “travelling from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God.” He is breaking powers of evil.
And this breaking the powers of evil includes that of the social structures that divide and denigrate people. We see this in who is with him.
His twelve core disciples are with him… but along with the Twelve, who else is with Him? “And also some women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Chuza, Herod's household manager” - so the Gospel has even gotten into the very courts of the wicked king Herod now — “and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their means.” Why?
These women had been so deeply affected by Jesus’ ministry, their lives had been so profoundly transformed by Jesus’ ministry.
This inclusion of women is offensive. Adult co-education was not the order of the day in Jesus’ time. Having these women following Jesus around with men…reflected a freedom to women never allowed.
But is it surprising to you at all that these women would have had this response to Jesus? If you were here last week and can recall the encounter just previous to this… a religious seeks Jesus to come as a guest at a big social dinner…and in the middle of the event a women comes in…uninvited…unwanted… a prostitute whom all would have looked down upon…and she weeps on His feet and she anoints Him with perfume and ointment and dries His feet with her hair. And Jesus was judged as you may recall…with the thoughts: — “If He was really a prophet and knew what kind of a woman this is, He wouldn't let her touch Him.”
Do you see what Jesus is doing? This may well have been the first time ever, or at least the first time in years, that this woman had ever touched a man who respected her and loved her and cared for her and wasn't interested in using her for his own pleasure. He is treating this woman who is so despised and so spurned and so condescended to and so cast out from and so excluded from her community and her society, this woman who has come to faith in Him, He's treating her with dignity. It is no wonder that that woman did not care what anybody else in that room thought of her because she had finally been treated with dignity, with love, with genuine care and concern. She wasn't being used, she was being cared for.