There are lots of accounts in Luke’s gospel of Jesus teaching and healing and casting out demons because these are the things that he saw first hand and heard about from his friends and he knew they would be impacting on those who read the accounts later. We can’t deny that miraculous healings are pretty incredible and great reading material!
As well as the healings and demon removal service Jesus provides, this chapter goes on to tell us about Jesus’ teachings on the Kingdom of heaven. He tells us that the Kingdom of heaven is for the poor, hungry, sad and those who are hated and insulted by others because they follow Jesus. All of these people will be blessed and be rewarded greatly in heaven and so they should be full of joy for what is to come to them.
Such lovely words. So comforting and easy to listen to. Of course, He doesn’t stop there though. He goes on to say that those who are rich and greedy, and who laugh at the followers of Jesus will be the ones to be sad and cry when everyone else is blessed. He finishes by explaining that those who receive only compliments on the earth should be worried because if you are a faithful follower of God, like our ancestors many years ago, we would be facing conflict from them and our lives would not be easy (obviously this does not mean we should not be kind and compliment one another, but rather to expect negativity if we are doing our job as Christians, sharing about Jesus, properly!).
Jesus does not want us to be comfortable. He wants us to risk a recognised, powerful position in society, and a comfortable life, to spread the Good News with those around us and love and obey God.
That is a challenge if ever I heard one! Hopefully, if we work together, it is achievable. We may mess up and not always acknowledge Jesus when we should, but if we recognise it and repent for doing so, we can start from scratch and try harder the next time to give our lives and the glory to God all the time – even when we’re embarrassed or doubting.