The Gospel according to Luke (Luke 14:1-6)
On a Sabbath Jesus went to dine at the home of one of the leading Pharisees, and the people there were observing him carefully. In front of him there was a man suffering from dropsy. Jesus spoke to the scholars of the law and Pharisees in reply, asking, “Is it lawful to cure on the Sabbath or not?” But they kept silent; so he took the man and, after he had healed him, dismissed him. Then he said to them “Who among you, if your son or ox falls into a cistern, would not immediately pull him out on the Sabbath day?” But they were unable to answer his question.
Opening Prayer: I know you are here, Lord. You are always at my side, and you are always on my side. You never stop thinking of me. You delight in me—this is why you created me, why you went to the cross for my sins, why you have gone to prepare a place for me in your Father’s house. I come to you today full of gratitude, wanting to praise you, to bless you, and to hear and heed whatever word you wish to speak to me.
Encountering Christ: Jesus accepted an invitation from this prominent Pharisee to dine at his house. The people at the dinner were “observing him carefully.” It’s somewhat easy to picture the scene. For most people, being invited to a dinner with many strangers who are observing them carefully may leave them feeling quite uncomfortable and self-conscious. But Jesus showed up with perfect confidence and an unwavering commitment to share the Gospel. One thing we can learn from this dinner and Jesus’ disposition at it is that uncomfortable situations are actually great opportunities to share your faith.
We will all have times when we are put in an uncomfortable situation. Imagine, for example, being invited to a party for a distant relative or a new neighbor. You decided to attend and knew that you would know very few people there. The tendency for those who are shy would be to show up, find someone they know, and then spend the rest of the time with that person. But consider what Jesus did. He probably knew very few people at this dinner. Jesus’ primary purpose in attending was not to just relax and have a fun time while He met new friends. Instead, His primary purpose was to preach His saving message to those in need. Thus, He went to those in need and did so with confidence.
Whether you are one who likes to socialize and meet new people, or are one who dreads such settings, consider the simple fact that these settings are wonderful opportunities to share your faith. Like our Lord, if you are willing to put yourself out there, entering situations that are new and unfamiliar, then you may start to discover that the opportunities abound. New settings and new people are new opportunities to evangelize. True, they are also opportunities to make new friends and enjoy yourself. But if you have a heart set on the desire to share the Gospel, then you will regularly look for new opportunities in which you can somehow share your faith with others.
Closing Prayer: You desire that Your saving message be shared far and wide, to the ends of the earth. Please fill me with zeal for souls. Give me an unwavering desire to share the Gospel with everyone I meet. Please use me, dear Lord, in the way You desire, so that Your love and mercy will be brought to those in need. Jesus, I trust in You.
Action: Lord, today by your grace I will talk with my family about how we live the Lord’s Day, and about how we might be able to live it better.