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Jesus Film
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Reach the Watching World
Reach the Watching World

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“Jesus left the synagogue and went to the home of Simon. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked Jesus to help her. So he bent over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. She got up at once and began to wait on them” (Luke 4:38–39).

Throughout the Gospels, you recognize something special about Jesus. He was always willing to respond to a need. After a trying time of casting out demons in the synagogue, He went home with Simon Peter for a little rest and relaxation. But Simon’s mother-in-law was ill, and Jesus was more than willing to heal her.

Quite often, true ministry happens at the most inconvenient moments, and not when you schedule it. It happens when you’re tired and you just want to be left alone. You need to be sensitive because life-changing opportunities come at the most troublesome and inappropriate times.

When Simon’s mother-in-law needed Him, Jesus stepped up. There were no crowds to applaud Him and He might have wished for a moment to relax, but that didn’t stop Him from meeting her needs. You can’t always schedule true ministry.
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“In the synagogue there was a man possessed by a demon, an impure spirit. He cried out at the top of his voice, ‘Go away! What do you want with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are—the Holy One of God!’” (Luke 4:33–34)

If everyone present had been paying attention, the demons were the first to acknowledge that there was something special about Jesus. When an impure spirit that had possessed a man recognized Jesus in the synagogue, it cried out that this was the Holy One of God.

But it’s not just enough to believe in Jesus. As James reminds us, “even the demons believe that—and shudder” (James 2:19b). We need to be willing to follow and obey Him, too. That’s why James says, “You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder” (James 2:19).

The demons knew enough about Jesus to recognize Him on sight. But it didn’t help them. Why? Because they refuse to submit themselves to God. It doesn’t matter how much you know about heavenly things. In the end, God is more interested in your obedience than your theology.
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Jesus went to the synagogue in His hometown of Nazareth. He took the scroll of Isaiah and read this passage to the gathering:

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor” (Luke 4:18–19).

Then He rolled up the scroll, handed it to the attendant, and sat down. And while everyone’s attention was fixed on Him, He said, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing” (Luke 4:21).

Jesus had taken this famous Messianic passage and applied it to Himself. There was no mistake about what He was saying. He’d grown up with everyone in attendance. And they all looked at each other and said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?”

They couldn’t fathom the idea that this child could be the chosen one. Messiahs don’t grow up from little boys, right?! Jesus identifies the problem when He says, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in his hometown” (Luke 4:24).

The same can be true for His followers. Maybe you’ve had a dramatic experience with the Lord, and you want to share it with the people closest to you. But it could be that their past experience with you makes it hard for them to accept. Maybe they want to write it off as a phase or maybe they doubt it will lead to lasting change.

Don’t be discouraged. Displaying consistent faithfulness to Jesus is how you can convince them that you’re a new creation—and that they can become one, too.
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“He was teaching in their synagogues, and everyone praised him” (Luke 4:15).

Everyone was excited about Jesus’ ministry, and word was spreading. Jesus was teaching in the synagogues where people gathered and they were all cheering Him on.

But this sentence kicks off a story that’s only 15 verses long. By the time you get to Luke 4:29, a synagogue full of people were trying to throw Jesus off a cliff. Why? Because they didn’t like what He’s saying.

It’s wonderful to have everyone praising you, but if you’re truly following Jesus it won’t last. That’s why we can’t judge our faithfulness based on what people say about us. They might be praising us one minute and cursing us the next.

We need to remember, the same people who thronged around Jesus screaming “Hosanna, Son of David” as He rode into Jerusalem were yelling “Crucify Him” by the end of the week.

This is why Jesus tells us, “Woe to you when everyone speaks well of you” (Luke 6:26a). The only way you can ensure that no one is ever critical of you is to tell them what they want to hear. If you want to be faithful, you can’t worry about whether people always approve of you.
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“Jesus returned to Galilee in the power of the Spirit, and news about him spread through the whole countryside” (Luke 4:14).

For 40 days, Jesus wandered through the desert hungry and alone. It was during this time that the devil showed up with a series of temptations. When He was at His lowest physical point, the devil was there to lure Jesus off course.

Immediately following the temptation, Jesus bursts into Galilee in the power of the Holy Spirit. People are drawn to Him and the news about Him began spreading throughout Judea. Jesus was clothed in the power of the Spirit because of His faithfulness during trial.

When we find ourselves in the middle of the wasteland, it can difficult to see beyond it. Everything inside of us starts crying out for relief. It becomes so easy to give into temptation and make compromises.

We need to trust that if we remain faithful in the desert, we’ll come out of the experience spiritually empowered and closer to God than ever before.
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For His last temptation, Satan shows Jesus the highest point of the temple in Jerusalem. He tells Jesus, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down from here. For it is written: ‘He will command his angels concerning You to guard You carefully; they will lift You up in their hands, so that You will not strike Your foot against a stone’” (Luke 4:9–11).

Satan is encouraging Jesus to use his powers to amaze and astound folks. It’s true: if Jesus threw Himself off the temple and lived, people would be astonished. They’d follow Jesus out of curiosity. They’d follow Him to see what other things He might do. But after a while, the novelty would wear off. Jesus would need to do greater and greater feats to keep people’s interest.

In Matthew 16:4, Jesus decries a “wicked and adulterous generation” that’s always seeking after a sign. They want to be impressed by amazing things. People that come to Jesus just because of the sensational things they’ve seen Him do aren’t prepared to take up their cross to follow Him. Jesus wanted people who followed Him because they recognized that He had been sent by God.
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“And the devil took him up and showed him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time, and said to him, ‘To you I will give all this authority and their glory, for it has been delivered to me, and I give it to whom I will’ If you, then, will worship me, it will all be yours.” And Jesus answered him, ‘It is written, “You shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only shall you serve”’ (Luke 4:5–8)

Satan tempts Jesus with a compromise. If Jesus will bow before him, the devil will give Him followers. It’s important to notice that Jesus doesn’t question the devil’s authority to do so. In fact, Jesus calls Satan the prince of this age three times (John 12:31, 14:30, 16:11). But Jesus refuses to budge.

We should never give in to the temptation to compromise with evil in order to do good. Jesus reminds the devil that we are to worship and serve God only. And there’s no way we can serve God by accommodating evil.

Jesus doesn’t challenge the fact that Satan can deliver on His promise, but it doesn’t matter. Jesus doesn’t want authority or glory that comes from compromise.
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Today's Devotion  // “But when John rebuked Herod the tetrarch because of his marriage to Herodias, his brother’s wife, and all the other evil things he had done, Herod added this to them all: He locked John up in prison” (Luke 3:19–20).

Herod Antipas (the tetrarch) was the son of Herod the Great who had all the children slaughtered in the second chapter of Matthew’s Gospel. He had divided Israel up in four parts and Herod the tetrarch was the ruler over the Galilee region.

Similar to his father, Herod Antipas was a bad guy. The Jewish community didn’t hold him in high regard already, and that was before he seduced his brother’s wife away from him. And it was for this reason that John the Baptist rebukes Herod—and Herod throws him in prison.

It was important for the people to see that God doesn’t care if you’re a peasant or a king. If you broke his Law, you were under his condemnation. So even though John didn’t have to call Herod out, he did. And he paid for it.

Choosing to speak the truth isn’t always easy. Sometimes we end up paying for it as John did. But to John, it was better to suffer for doing right than to be complicit with bad behavior.
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What do you think Jesus was trying to teach us in the Parable of the Good Samaritan? http://bit.ly/2C54fF1
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"Islam and Christianity are pretty similar, right?" Karim asked his friend. Here's how his friend answered: http://bit.ly/2xZuVnM
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