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January 27 I Monday

Exodus 16-18

Matthew 18:1-20

“Jesus said to them, ‘Surely you will quote this proverb to Me: “Physician, heal yourself!” And you will tell Me, “Do here in Your home town what we have heard that You did in Capernaum.”’”  —Luke 4:23

 

I was scheduled to speak at a men’s retreat out of town one weekend, but on Friday morning, my calf was really sore. My wife looked at it and said, “Maybe you should get that checked out at the doctor’s.” I turned to her and said, “It’s okay, it’s just sore. I’ll take some pain medication.” As I preached throughout the weekend, I brought a massager to help massage my calf and release the tense muscle. But the massager did not help and my calf continued to grow and swell. By the time the retreat was over, my leg was twice the size just down the calf and I could barely walk. When I finally went to see my general practitioner doctor the next day, he sent me directly to the ultrasound clinic. There, I found that I had a blood clot in my left leg. I was hammering that blood clot with a massager trying to release it and had it released and gone to my lungs, it would have been game over for me.

But I did not realize that. It was not until I acknowledged that there was something drastically wrong with me that I sought out the help of a physician. Going to the doctor was a painful thing but it was a healing kind of pain because the doctor had to diagnose me properly so that I could be healed.

When Jesus was speaking at a synagogue in Nazareth on the Sabbath. He read from the prophet Isaiah. His listeners all spoke well of Him and they loved the gracious words coming from His lips. But things started to go sideways as Jesus’s sermon took an interesting turn. He revealed who He is and claimed to be the anointed servant but they took exception with that.

Like a good physician, Jesus took His finger and was putting it on the sore spot. He came to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and restoration for those who are oppressed but it also requires us to acknowledge the fact that we are poor in spirit, captive, blind and oppressed. God’s Word is like a mirror into our souls. Jesus never exposes our sin to harm us; He only does it to heal us. When Jesus comes and He puts His finger on a sore spot in our life, when He reveals to us a hidden area of oppression, a blind spot in our life, may we say, “Yes, Lord, please come and set me free from it.” Because we can either harden our hearts or humble our hearts to what He is saying.

 

Prayer: Dear Jesus, thank You for exposing my sore spot and areas of my life where I need You to come and heal me. Humble my heart to hear what You say. Amen!


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