Day 20: Focus (Luke 4:39-44)

I am suggesting that Jesus knows his mission. His situation required he move about. But he does not race past people, trying to check off that he has visited every town. No, instead, he understands his business is engaging people in order to show them the love of God.

Day 19: Inconceivable (Luke 4:31-38)

When face-to-face with Jesus, our physical-spiritual world emerges in ways that Jesus, the author of the world, illuminates. Let me say that differently. If that demon was in that man (and if angels are afoot) what does that mean for you and me as we go about our day?

Day 17: Which Jesus- Indeed! (Luke 4:14-21)

Jesus has such an inner strength inside of himself, that he is not looking to this world for affirmation. His self-worth comes from someplace, someone, else—and it frees him to be on mission. If Jesus had a Facebook page, I doubt he would be checking it hourly to see if someone new “liked” him.

Day 15: From Adam to New Adam (Luke 3:23-38)

Jesus is the new Adam, the author of the new humanity, the one who comes to redeem and to reconcile men and women from every tribe and nation. Not merely giving himself as a ransom for the lost sheep of Israel, but pouring out himself as a substitute for the sinful children of Adam’s race. Luke’s genealogy goes all the way back to Adam!

Day 12: Curiosity (Luke 2:39–52)

People at times express curiosity with the life of young Jesus. We get one little snippet in this part of the text. Remarkably, at this young age Jesus is already talking about doing his Father’s will—which will be his constant refrain. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let me ask: are you curious? Curious about why Zechariah, Mary, Elizabeth, Simeon, Anna, and even Elizabeth’s baby, are jumping for joy?

Day 11: Persistence (Luke 2:36–38)

Anna is remarkable. Stop and think about how Scripture describes her. She never left the temple. She was devoted to prayer and fasting and worship. I am trying to picture her. Was she quiet? Did she keep to herself? Or, was she front and center, greeting all who entered? But then I see my answer. It is in the text…

Day 9: It All Fits (Luke 2:21–24)

Jesus, being born to Mary and Joseph, is part of God’s plan—the key piece to a long-awaited puzzle. The Jewish people would be saved. Jerusalem, not merely a place, but symbolic of their national heart, would be restored. You might expect them to abandon all the old rituals and laws; after all, a new thing was happening. Yet they do not. And so, they bring the Savior of the world—their firstborn son—to the temple, and dedicate him to the Father.

Day 8: Used for God (Luke 2:8–20)

Beyond their quaintness for Christmas pageants, what is the point of shepherds? We certainly have moved from the extraordinary to the extremely ordinary. And that is the point. Shepherds have a special place in God’s heart. Ordinary people are anything but ordinary in the eyes of God.

Day 7: Certainty – Again (Luke 2:1–7)

Can such a story, so far as we have read, deliver what it says? After all, in the first chapter we have had to contend with quite a bit! Luke, I sense, recognizes the challenge of believing such a story. He returns to grounding his account in history—a census ordered by one of the most powerful Caesars of all time. This is no myth.

Day 5: When God Becomes Palpable (Luke 1:57–66)

There are moments when God reveals himself—reveals that his divine and supernatural hand is present. Not to get too far ahead, but verses 68 & 78 say “God visits.” These stories Luke has put before us, the ones he has researched, interviewing eyewitnesses, are stunning. Angels appear, women who should not be able to conceive are able, men are struck mute, while the unborn leap for joy. I mentioned there was a dark time in my life when God’s light shined very brightly. I had been praying for weeks, every night, for hours. One night I was jarred awake.

Day 4: Bursting for Joy (Luke 1:46–56)

There are moments in our lives when our joy erupts. We become disconnected from our center of logic and control—and after that moment is all said and done, we find it quite remarkable that we had such an outburst. Perhaps this is where Mary finds herself. Sometimes these moments come upon us—and sometimes we can move ourselves into them. But how?

Day 3: Following God (Luke 1:39–45)

With all this talk of certainty and waiting, it is good when confirmation comes that you are on the right path. Mary is simply walking toward the house. Elizabeth and her baby are filled with the Holy Spirit. The baby leaps in her womb. Elizabeth brings forth praise. Mary, whose womb is filled with infinity and eternity, responds. But first, I wonder. I don’t know, but I expect not every moment of every day in Mary’s life had this sort of confirmation from God. Many people, when they first begin following God, have all sorts of these delightful moments of confirmation. In my own life, I first came to know God, to put my trust in Him, when my world was very dark.

Day 2: Willingness (Luke 1:26–38)

Imagine you are minding your own business, and an angel appears and asks you to do something that is both wild and does not quite fit your idea of how things work. That is the situation Mary is presented with. For Luke, he has unearthed the angel Gabriel’s activities. The involvement of the heavenly angelic host should not surprise us. God is at work. His workers include mortal and immortal agents.

Day 1: Waiting (Luke 1:5-25)

It is interesting that we jump from the idea of certainty yesterday to a story today. Remember, Luke’s point is that this is not some once-upon-a-time fairy tale. No, this is real. It happened. He grounds it in a specific place, time, and people. Further, it is not a recent story. No, God wrote this story long before the beginning of time. And there have been many people WAITING in expectation. Why bring this up? Because for Luke, this is story of certainty: not human certainty, but the certainty of God.