Luke 4:40-41 When the sun went down, everyone who had anyone sick with some ailment or other brought them to Him. One by one He placed his hands on them and healed them.
I love the words, “one by one”. Earlier in the chapter, Satan offers Jesus many ways to use and demonstrate His power and all of them involve some kind of mass-produced, impersonal result. Jesus refused to wield His power apart from relationship. He is focused on the needs of each individual and His relationship to them is critical to His “Lord of All” character. Clearly, He could have waved His arms and healed everyone and fixed everything, but He instead insisted upon demonstrating that He is the God of every person…not just the God of mankind. This awareness builds the groundwork upon which we construct our understanding of His most powerful act of all. As we watch Him take the long walk to the cross, we know that this is not just for “all people”, but for every person. It was for me. And Steve. And Josiah. And my neighbor, Berta.
One by one, He healed them all. One by one, He still does.
However, I wonder: when we serve the “one by one” God, why we so often work mostly to become like each other. He constantly demonstrated a passionate desire to maintain a real relationship with individuals…and yet we tend to model our lives after those around us, hoping that our friendship with Him will look just like their friendship with Him.
Someone told me recently that they absolutely would not read a certain translation of the Bible because their small group leader didn’t like it. Another person mentioned a specific philosophy that they had disregarded without evaluation because their mentor was not a fan. I understand following leaders. I get that we all need discipleship…in fact, I’m really passionate about that fact. I don’t, however, want to ever assume that as followers of Jesus we will all look, speak, pray or even believe exactly like one another.
The image of God – stamped on each one of us – allows for some really beautiful and startling diversity if we’ll truly get to know the one-by-one God.
Lorelei - I love this post, Bo. Joann just came over to visit me and she’s always been a friend to challenge me in this area which is so needed. My destiny is unlike any others and it’s going to take some different preparation from my ‘one-by-one’ God in order for me to walk in that destiny. Such a great and huge reminder and revleation. Thanks for that.
Jennifer - I agree as well. I think that, maybe, finding out who God has made me to be sometimes just seems too hard. Its a lot easier to just try to be like someone you look up to…I think it plays into the “microwaveable,” generation I am from that wants everything right now…no matter what the results are in the end. If you think of fast food, its faster, and usually feeds our craving for instant gratification, but in the end it clogs our arteries, gives us thunder-thighs, and decreases our quality of life.
At times, I have felt like I have to at least look put together as quickly as possible. So its easier to make a quick, cheap imitation of someone else, than to risk not knowing who I am at all.
But I too have come to the realization that this is no way to live. God did not give us any imitations! He gave us the best of everything He has, including His own image in each of us. He is too big of a God to be contained in any one person, so to avoid knowing myself as He created me is to avoid knowing the part of God He created me to reflect. And hands down, this has to be the longest comment in blog history! It means a lot to hear this from you Bo…Thanks!
Katie Scott - I just wanted you to know that I’m officially copyrighting everything you’ve written in this blog (yes including suckling pig) and I’m going to publish a best selling book with it. I just thought I should let you know…