Luke 8

The truth about Jesus the Messiah as God with us should be both alarming and enlivening. As our Redeemer went about with His small entourage of men and women, He was “proclaiming and bringing” the gospel of the “kingdom of God” to Israel. Many thought that they understood the ways of the Almighty, but they had not expected Christ to be like this Man.
It was unsettling when Jesus taught using parables. He told stories that began with words like these: “A sower went out to sow his seed.” What was His point? Nobody could comprehend the spiritual meaning, and He only explained His sayings to His closest friends. Even the members of His immediate family seemed to be on the outside, and the only way to be on the inside was to “hear the Word of God and do it.” He spoke with the full authority of heaven.
Examining the actions of Jesus did not make anyone feel more at ease. He made “the wind and the raging waves” obey. His companions asked each other, “Who then is this?” With no visible effort He brought life-changing help to a naked and dangerous loner who no one else was even able to restrain. He healed a bleeding woman whose story could not remain hidden because He said, “Who was it that touched Me?” He also raised a little girl who was clearly deceased, but said to the crowd, “She is not dead but sleeping,” and then brought her back to life.
How can we not be frightened by the God/Man? Nonetheless, rather than trying to run away from Him, we count ourselves among the millions throughout the centuries who have something more in our hearts than fear. We marvel at the goodness and power of His message and miracles, and we want to be near Him. We could reasonably be filled with awe by the experience of meeting the real Jesus, but we cannot help but hope that He will touch our overwhelmed souls, take us by the hand, and say, “Child, arise!”
Prayer from A Book of Prayers
Glorious God, You sent Jesus preaching and teaching the kingdom. You provided for His needs every day. He did not worry, but trusted You. As His gospel comes to us today we pray that it would find good soil in our souls, producing a fruitful yield. Protect us from any enemy that would seek to destroy the ministry of Your Word and Spirit in our lives. Help us to have a more perfect confidence in You. Grant to us honest hearts. Show us Your glory, and move us in the direction of all that is true and lovely. Thank you for the friendship that we enjoy within Your family as fellow-travelers in the way of righteousness. Together we will keep our eyes upon You, for You can calm the wind and the waves. Your great Son has power in His hands. He knows all the dangers that face us as we work for the progress of Your church. Bless us with close communion with Him in our service of You. Forgive us when we become filled with everything that this world offers us. We praise You for Your healing mercies and Your sensitivity to us in our pain. We tremble before You with reverence and joy. We cast off the chains of fear and doubt, and walk with You in hope. You make the dead rise. There is nothing too difficult for You.