Tuesday, September 19, 2006

A Man of Interactive Dependence

A Man of Interactive Dependence

“Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness and prayed.” (Luke 5:16)

Again and again there is a phrase that shows up in Luke’s Gospel that doesn’t appear in Matthew, Mark or John to the degree that they do in Luke’s. In scenes common to the other Gospels, and where they say nothing of prayer, Luke repeatedly inserts that “He was praying.” One of the reasons is because, prayer adds to the comprehensiveness of the picture of Jesus as a Man. Thus the Evangelist would show how “the Man Christ Jesus” continually exercised this grace of true dependence. It is here in Luke’s Gospel that only do we read, that at His baptism He “was praying,” (3:21). Here only do we read that when he had cleansed the leper, “He withdrew Himself, and prayed” (5:16). So again, here only are we told that His choice of the twelve followed a night of ceaseless prayer, “Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God” (6:12).

Moreover, here in Luke’s Gospel alone are we told that the Transfiguration happed as He prayed, “Now it came to pass…He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray. As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening” (9:28-29). It was it is in Luke’s Gospel the Lord’s prayer was given, in response to a request from His disciples, who, “as He was praying, when He ceased said, Lord, teach us to pray” (11:1). Peter’s famous confession happened as the disciples approached Jesus, “as He was alone praying, that His disciples joined Him” (9:18). Lastly, it is only in this Gospel that we have Jesus’ words to Peter, “I have prayed for you” (22:32).

All of the above accounts are exclusive to Luke. There are characteristic of Jesus as fully Man and they are extremely instructive examples of what is available to us as sons of men, as we approach every aspect of our lives with interactive dependence and communion with God in prayer.

Portraits of Jesus        

Think through some of the passages noted. How does the example of Jesus taking making the most of every occasion and opportunity to interacted with the Father in prayer challenge you in your daily interactions?

What are some elements of your work, relationships, family and life that you need to exhibit more interactive dependence on the Father in communion and prayer?

Meditate on the following passage:

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth 
with the Holy Spirit and with power, 
who went about doing good 
and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, 
for God was with Him.”
(Acts 10:38)

Luke attributes the miracle working power of Jesus to release healing power and freeing the oppressed by the devil to the anointing that came from God, not Jesus’ divinity. Furthermore, he sets the stage for this verse by stating, how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth. The emphasis is on God doing the anointing of the Man, Jesus the human from the small city of Nazareth.

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