The Improbable Assignment (Lent 21-2019)

Small beginnings can bring about spectacular results…when a spectacular God is at work.  Many people believed the Messiah would bring dramatic and spectacular change.  What they didn’t understand was the hidden way it would happen and that the same dramatic and spectacular change can happen whether in a flash of a moment or through a gradual working over a long perseverance.  Their expectations would get in the way because they didn’t understand God’s definition of overthrow or an improbable assignment doesn’t mean it’s impossible.  Everything is possible when God is involved.  Jesus wanted to drive home the point of small beginnings and the long patience that would be required for the Kingdom to be finally ushered in.

Luke 13:20 Again he asked, “What shall I compare the kingdom of God to? 21 It is like yeast that a woman took and mixed into about sixty pounds of flour until it worked all through the dough.”

“Sixty pounds,” thought the crowd, “that’s three pecks, three measures, that’s quite a bit of flour!  (She’s probably baking for a crowd.) That woman would be working diligently for quite a while until yeast was completely mixed through the dough.”

Jesus smiled.  Yes, the improbable assignment of the Gospel working its way from small beginnings until it had reached the whole world would be generations in accomplishing.  It would require dedication, perseverance, hard work, and time.  But then the yeast would do its own miracle of further multiplying and in the presence of oxygen, the whole batch of dough would rise.

Think about it: 

  • Why did Jesus want to point out the small beginnings?  What encouragement would that offer? 
  • When one normally thinks of overthrow how dramatic is it?  What does the timeline look like? 
  • For the Gospel to take over as a revolutionary idea, what would the timeline look like?  Read “And now you know what is holding him back, so that he may be revealed at the proper time. For the secret power of lawlessness is already at work; but the one who now holds it back will continue to do so till he is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will overthrow with the breath of his mouth and destroy by the splendor of his coming. The coming of the lawless one will be in accordance with how Satan works. He will use all sorts of displays of power through signs and wonders that serve the lie, and all the ways that wickedness deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness.” (2 Thessalonians 2:6-12) 
  • How does the insidious undercover working of Satan mirror the hidden working of God in the delay between the two advents (birth and return)?

Lord Jesus, help us to remember the admonition from Your Word to “be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” (Ephesians 6:10-12).  Help us to remember that You work in hidden and mysterious ways, but those ways are not a mystery to You.  May we continue to work diligently alongside others in Christ as You bring Your Kingdom to all fullness and we rise in You at the final trumpet sound.  Grant us courage for these dark days.  In Christ’s powerful Name we pray.  Amen.

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Categories Articles and Devotionals, Devotionals | Tags: | Posted on March 29, 2019

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