Day 22 (Thurs, Aug 28, 2014)

Jesus Responds to John the Baptist

51 total verses: Matthew 11:7-30; Luke 7:24-50

Brief description of action taking place or point being made

66. Jesus commends John the Baptist in Matthew 11:7-19; Luke 7:24-35
67. Jesus rebukes 3 cities in Matthew 11:20-30
68. Jesus dines with Simon the Pharisee in Luke 7:36-50

Devotions (optional reading)

General questions

1. What is your favorite verse or set of verses? Why?
2. Did you learn anything from the reading or find anything particularly cool? What?
3. Was there anything unclear in the passage that you have questions about? What are they?

Specific questions on this passage

After Completing the Bible Reading

Broader outline of each section of passage

Matthew 11:7-19; Luke 7:24-35. Jesus speaks to the crowd about John the Baptist, saying that he is a great prophet that came to prepare the way. Yet he is the last of the old way of doing things. In the new way, even the least is greater than John the Baptist.

Matthew 11:20-30. Jesus denounced three cities of Israel — Chorazin, Bethsaida, and Capernaum — because they did not respond with repentance to all of the mighty works that had been done there. It is those who are wise in their own eyes that they do not perceive Jesus. Rather, it is those who are like little children — which I suppose means simple and innocent.

Then Jesus extends a beautiful invitation to draw near to him to those who are weary and burdened.

Luke 7:36-50. Jesus was invited to a dinner with Simon, a Pharisee. But the dinner was interrupted by a woman who was a sinner, well known in the city. This woman wept greatly and used her tears to moisten Jesus’ feet so she could kiss them, wipe them clean with her hair, and anoint them with expensive ointment. While people were judging her and judging Jesus for letting her do this, Jesus speaks to Simon about the way love and forgiveness work. And in the end, he presented the idea that when you are forgiven a great deal, you love a great deal. And then he forgave her sins, and she left in peace.

My favorite passage and other random thoughts

My favorite verse from the reading today is Luke 7:50, “‘Your faith has saved you; go in peace'” (ESV), which Jesus spoke to a sinful woman who had just anointed Jesus’ feet with her tears and ointment, and washed them with her hair, as a sign of recognizing who Jesus was, and of genuine repentance of all the sin that she had committed. Both the centurion (from yesterday’s reading) and the sinful woman (from today’s reading) not only grasped who Jesus was, but they acted on that understanding, bringing about the results that they hoped for, and showing genuine faith.

I wonder if we had that kind of clarity and that kind of boldness to act on that clarity, what kind of outcome we would see? I think it is this kind of action that is required for Jesus to be revealed to others so that they may truly come face-to-face with the reality of God and His Kingdom, and for their lives to be changed. I think we would see miracles, and I think we would see many set free from sins that they are entangled in, so that they might walk closely with God.

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