Written by:
Rachel Ann Labasan

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Muddy Feet on a Dusty Terrain

Read Luke 4:16-22.

After his forty-day “wrestling” with the ever-cunning devil, Jesus was more than prepared to set out on his mission in his hometown, Galilee.

His first stop was his home synagogue. As part of his routine, an itinerant Rabbi (teacher) would read and explain the scriptures while the community would intently listen. The scroll of Isaiah was handed over to Jesus.

We can see in our minds how their faces lit up when Jesus quoted from the prophet Isaiah’s depiction of their people’s deliverance from the Babylonians. The listeners were reminded that they were the people of Israel - a blessed nation that was sustained by a faithful God. In verse 22, Luke explains how “everyone was pleased” with what Jesus read, especially in affirming that the “scripture they have heard has been fulfilled this day!” For them, Isaiah’s prophecy is in the past tense because their people had already experienced it. However, as they began to realize Jesus was talking about himself, they started mumbling among each other, “Isn’t he Joseph’s son?”

Is the millennial still capable of following Jesus in a dusty terrain with his muddy feet?

When Jesus claimed that the “scriptures will be fulfilled through him they looked at him differently. When Jesus stated that he was anointed to bring Good News to the poor, they questioned his identity. How could the scriptures point to this unassuming traveling teacher?

In a modern lifestyle that encourages self-preservation, do we still grasp Jesus’ big heart for the poor? Is the millennial still capable of following Jesus in a dusty terrain with his muddy feet?

I love the experience of worship at my church. When we worship and the band leads us, we can express ourselves freely to God. Along with loud guitar strums, we lift up our hands as a gesture of surrender. We dance joyfully along with the beat of the drum. We even cry and shout in distress, knowing that in whatever way we approach Christ, he knows us and he understands. But as much as I love worship, our knowledge of Jesus can’t be limited to songs we sing for him. If we really want to follow Jesus, we must live how he lived.

As much as I love worship, our knowledge of Jesus can’t be limited to songs we sing for him.

In his examination of the beatitudes, Phillip Yancey claims the poor, the hungry, the mourners, and oppressed as truly blessed. “Not because of their miserable states,” he says, “but because Jesus spent much of his life trying to remedy those miseries.”

As we strive to follow Jesus, we start to possess a heart that cares for the poor and the downtrodden. I strongly believe that the young people – the future of this generation - can have that heart. They may be wearing sneakers, high-heeled sandals, boots, or flip-flops, but their passionate hearts for Jesus will lead them into removing their footwear for a while to ‘walk the dusty terrain with muddy feet.’

Discussion Questions:

  1. Do you believe that the church can do something for the poor in the global community? Why do you say so?
  2. Can you identify the needy person/s in your own community? Can you think of a concrete way, no matter how small, of how you can help him/her/them?