I couldn’t escape these thoughts of the Son of Man as I followed Him through Luke 18: knowing fully the excruciating and humiliating suffering awaiting Him, He was not consumed with concern for Himself, and He was never deterred from using every possible opportunity to care for and minister to those in need.
Everything He did was to benefit others, strengthening and encouraging His followers, preparing them for their own futures.
Luke 18 follows Jesus through a short period of time; but in these brief scenarios our Eternal King is eternally encouraging His own.
Consider Him, and Be Encouraged!
- He Encourages us to pray and not to lose heart.
- Now He was telling them a parable to show that at all times they ought to pray and not to lose heart… 7 now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? 8 I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (18:1,7-8).
- He Encourages us towards humility, for only His opinion has value.
- And He also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves… 13 But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted,” (18:9,13-14).
- He Encourages us to come to Him in childlike faith, in confident assurance of His love and acceptance.
- But Jesus called for them, saying, “Permit the children to come to Me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these,” [18:16]
- He Encourages us towards our heavenly reward.
- And Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for those who are wealthy to enter the kingdom of God! …29 And He said to them, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God, 30 who will not receive many times as much at this time and in the age to come, eternal life,” (18:24,29-30).
- He Encourages us though His accomplishing all prophecy concerning His ultimate sacrifice: His death, burial and resurrection.
- Then He took the twelve aside and said to them, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and all things which are written through the prophets about the Son of Man will be accomplished. 32 For He will be handed over to the Gentiles, and will be mocked and mistreated and spit upon, 33 and after they have scourged Him, they will kill Him; and the third day He will rise again,” (18:31-33).
- He Encourages us to ask Him what we want Him to do for us!
- “What do you want Me to do for you?” And he said, “Lord, I want to regain my sight!” (18:41).
How do we respond to Him? Are we Encouraged?
If not, why not? He knew life would have its abundance of trials, sorrows and sufferings, but He instructed us in the ways of fearless courage; heed His Word and pray at all times!
Today, let us dwell on Him and Be Encouraged!
He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? 33 Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; 34 who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. 35 Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? …37 But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord, (Romans 8:32-35,37-39).
As we consider Him, believing He is faithful and able to accomplish all He has promised, let us pray in faith at all times and Be Encouraged!
Rejoice always; 17 pray without ceasing; 18 in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus, (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18).