Friday 23rd February – Luke 4:38-44 ‘The main thing’

Luke 4:38-44

The well-known evangelist J. John is fond of saying: ‘Always remember that the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.’  It’s good advice: whilst we long to grow in wisdom, such that we might have the mind of Christ to apply our faith to the whole of life and of society, the heart of the message is very simple.  The kingdom of Jesus is good news!  And we are called to proclaim and live this good news in our lives to the best of our ability, and by the grace of God’s Holy Spirit.

In this, we take our inspiration from Jesus.  In today’s passage, Jesus’ ministry is now in full swing.  Having settled back in Capernaum (v31), and having set a demonised man free in the synagogue, in full view of the town’s amazed worshippers (vv33-36), news about him is spreading fast (v37).

Jesus’ first stop, though, was much more personal: he goes to his friend Simon’s home – the Simon who would become his key disciple – and heals his mother-in-law (vv38-39).  A useful reminder that ministry is always personal: our heart is to bless particular people and not just ‘the world’ or ‘the church’.

Thereafter, it all goes a bit crazy.  Jesus’ growing reputation means that people from all over are now seeking him out for a miracle.  And Jesus, in his great compassion, attends to each one (v40).  The implication is that this goes on through the whole night, and an exhausted Jesus needs some quiet time on his own (v42).  However, the people find him and try to get him to stay longer.

Jesus’ reply is telling (v43): ‘I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.’  Always remember that the main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.  Jesus has good news to share: good news not just for a whole nation but a whole world.  So, he won’t stop in one place: he must go on to bless others, too.

We may not be called to the sort of itinerant life that Jesus had: but we are called to be bringers of good news where we are, in word and deed, to keep the main thing the main thing.  How can each of us share, and be, good news today?