Love Leads Us Home {following Christ to calvary}, Day 14: Scripture-Reading

What did the kingdom of Heaven drawing near look like? It looked like the blind receiving sight, freedom from the chains of darkness, and death overcome by Life.

People marveled at the miracles they witnessed. Jesus, they said, must be a mighty prophet. God, they said, has visited His people.

Jesus had a mighty compassion for these sons and daughters of Israel – they were like sheep without a shepherd and His heart longed to gather them close. So He sent out His disciples, giving them authority to cast out evil, heal the sick, and even raise the dead.

Give, Jesus told them, as freely as you have received.

May we obey His words…may we understand, all over again, that God has visited His people and given us everything we need. I pray that He will give, to you and to me, compassion like His for those in need…so we will not ever hold back but rather overflow with His love. May we whole-heartedly share the hope we have been given.

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After Jesus left the girl’s home, two blind men followed along behind Him, shouting, “Son of David, have mercy on us!”

They went right into the house where He was staying, and Jesus asked them, “Do you believe I can make you see?”

“Yes, Lord,” they told Him, “we do.”

Then He touched their eyes and said, “Because of your faith, it will happen.” Then their eyes were opened, and they could see! Jesus sternly warned them, “Don’t tell anyone about this.”  But instead, they went out and spread His fame all over the region.

When they left, a demon-possessed man who couldn’t speak was brought to Jesus. So Jesus cast out the demon, and then the man began to speak. The crowds were amazed. “Nothing like this has ever happened in Israel!” they exclaimed.

But the Pharisees said, “He can cast out demons because He is empowered by the prince of demons.” (Matt. 9:27-34)

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Jesus traveled through all the towns and villages of that area, teaching in the synagogues and announcing the Good News about the Kingdom. And He healed every kind of disease and illness. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were confused and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. He said to His disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask Him to send more workers into His fields.”

Jesus called his twelve disciples together and gave them authority to cast out evil spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness. Here are the names of the twelve apostles: first, Simon (also called Peter), then Andrew (Peter’s brother), James (son of Zebedee), John (James’s brother), Philip, Bartholomew, Thomas, Matthew (the tax collector), James (son of Alphaeus), Thaddaeus, Simon (the zealot), Judas Iscariot (who later betrayed him).

Jesus sent out the twelve apostles with these instructions: “Don’t go to the Gentiles or the Samaritans,  but only to the people of Israel—God’s lost sheep. Go and announce to them that the Kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, raise the dead, cure those with leprosy, and cast out demons. Give as freely as you have received! (Matthew 10:1-8)

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Then Jesus asked them, “Would anyone light a lamp and then put it under a basket or under a bed? Of course not! A lamp is placed on a stand, where its light will shine.  For everything that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.  Anyone with ears to hear should listen and understand.”

Then He added, “Pay close attention to what you hear. The closer you listen, the more understanding you will be given—and you will receive even more. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.”

Jesus also said, “The Kingdom of God is like a farmer who scatters seed on the ground.  Night and day, while he’s asleep or awake, the seed sprouts and grows, but he does not understand how it happens. The earth produces the crops on its own. First a leaf blade pushes through, then the heads of wheat are formed, and finally the grain ripens. And as soon as the grain is ready, the farmer comes and harvests it with a sickle, for the harvest time has come.”

Jesus said, “How can I describe the Kingdom of God? What story should I use to illustrate it?  It is like a mustard seed planted in the ground. It is the smallest of all seeds, but it becomes the largest of all garden plants; it grows long branches, and birds can make nests in its shade.”

-Mark 4-21-32

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Soon afterward Jesus went with His disciples to the village of Nain, and a large crowd followed Him.  A funeral procession was coming out as He approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s only son, and a large crowd from the village was with her.  When the Lord saw her, His heart overflowed with compassion. “Don’t cry!” He said. Then He walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. “Young man,” He said, “I tell you, get up.” Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother.

Great fear swept the crowd, and they praised God, saying, “A mighty prophet has risen among us,” and “God has visited His people today.” And the news about Jesus spread throughout Judea and the surrounding countryside. (Luke 7:11-17)

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{I would love to know if any of these verses or words of Christ resonated with you today…please feel free to share what may have challenged or inspired you!}

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