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Luke Study #34 – The Point

The Gospel Of Luke

Luke 4:13-15 (CEV)

13After the devil had finished testing Jesus in every way possible, he left him for a while.

14Jesus returned to Galilee with the power of the Spirit. News about him spread everywhere. 15He taught in the Jewish meeting places, and everyone praised him.

The Point

I worked as a doula for eight years. But before I started working as a doula I gave birth to three kids. My first birth was a natural, midwife-assisted homebirth. It was eleven hours long, and was an incredibly positive experience. My second birth was an emergency induction at the major teaching hospital in Toronto due to failing health on the part of the baby followed by an emergency c-section, followed by days in the NICU and a very short life for my son. My third birth was a VBAC – vaginal birth after caesarean – just 17 short months after my c-section. It took place in hospital, but under the care of midwives, and involved the heroics of trying to get to the hospital in time during one of Missisauga’s worst blizzards! All three of my children had birth defects. Two of my children had feeding difficulties – and one was a feeding master! All three of my children at one point or another had to go to Sick Kids Hospital as babies. I dealt with my own postpartum depression, infant loss and a subsequent pregnancy after a loss.

So when my clients told me about how they were feeling, as if it was some crazy thought or idea, or when they went through things in labour or during the postpartum period, I could usually quite truthfully surprise them by saying, “I understand.”

We’ve been talking all week about these few short verses because they tell us that Jesus – the Son of Man – God with skin – was tested like us: in every way possible.

That means he gets us.

That means he knows what it’s like to be human.

That means that in that moment where you think God can’t possibly understand … in Jesus, he does.

And this, I think, is the point of all of this temptation and testing. Jesus (fully man) + Jesus (fully God) is now ready to show up. Jesus as fully man has developed an understanding of the human condition that runs deeper and sees far more clearly and more empathetically than he ever could have seen before. Jesus as fully God comes with the power to replace brokenness with wholeness and begin to see God’s best way of living take place right here, right now.

Jesus doesn’t show up as some outsider, like a young newly graduated professional with lots of theoretical knowledge but no life experience. Jesus doesn’t show up untried or untested. With forty days of some of the most grueling testing imaginable behind him, when Jesus meets people in the midst of their brokenness from here on out, he can honestly, truthfully, surprisingly say, “I understand”.

And not only does he understand – He comes with the power to do something about the brokenness he sees.

And for me, at least, that’s the point.Journal Questions:

  1. Have you ever been in the midst of something really, really hard and met up with someone who truly understands what you were going through at that moment?
  2. How does it feel to connect with that person? To share your story? To talk and feel like the other person isn’t just listening, but truly gets you?
  3. Have you ever thought about Jesus as being able to truly understand what you’re going through? That doubt you’re experiencing? That hurt in that relationship? That frustration about that family member? That desire to reach for a substance or pattern of living that you know, deep down, isn’t best for you?
  4. What would it mean if that was actually true?
  5. What would it look like to connect with Jesus about these hard places in your life?

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