Fourth Chapter of Luke


A sense of the “Can-be Doing“:

The number of good things in the world that you can do are innumerable.  The number of things for which we are sent to do is considerably more limited.

and immediately after
when they had left the synagogue
they entered into the house of Simon and Andrew
with James and John
but Simon’s wife’s mother lay sick with a fever
and soon after arriving
they told Jesus about her

and he came
and took her by the hand
and lifted her up
and immediately
the fever left her
and she ministered unto them

At the evening
when the sun did set
the people of city brought unto him
all that were diseased
and any that were possessed with devils
and all the city was gathered together at the door

and he healed many that were sick of divers diseases
and cast out many devils
and suffered not the devils to speak
because they knew him

and in the morning
rising up a great while before the dawn
Jesus went out
and departed into a solitary place
and there prayed
and Simon
and they that were with him
followed after him
and when they had found him
they said unto him

all men seek for thee

and he said unto them

let us go into the next towns
that I may preach there also
for that is the reason I am sent

and he preached in their synagogues
throughout all Galilee
and cast out devils

[Mark 1:29-38]

Peter realized what they had going there in Capernaum.  They could set-up shop in his house.  Jesus stays inside — while he, Andrew, James, and John mediate access to Jesus’ miraculous works as door-keepers.

all men seek for thee

Peter says — why bother traveling around?

But the solitary time Jesus spent — fasting, praying, receiving and over-coming trials from the devil — gave him a sense of calling and purpose, so that he did not get bogged-down in the good works he could’ve done as the town-healer in a city of Galilee.

let us go into the next towns
that I may preach there also
for that is the reason I am sent

Jesus knew that he was come to seek and to save that which was lost [Luke 19:10], not to be sought after.  He was come to minister [Mark 10:45], not to be ministered to.

A sense of the “Should-be Doing“:

and Jesus
being full of the holy spirit
returned from Jordan
and She led him into the wilderness
to there be tried
by the devil
for forty days

and when the devil had exhausted all his trials
he departed from Jesus
for a period of time
and Jesus returned
in the power of the spirit
into Galilee

and he came to Nazareth
the city where he had grown up
and as the custom was
he went into the synagogue on the day of Saturn
and stood up to read the torah
and the leaders gave him
the book of the prophet Isaiah
and when he had opened the book
he found the place where it was written

the spirit of YHVH is upon me
because he has anointed me
to preach the gospel to the poor
to heal the broken-hearted
to preach deliverance to prisoners
and the recovering of sight to the blind
to set at liberty them of a contrite-spirit
to declare the Jubilation year of YHVH

and he closed the book
and he gave it to the minister of the synagogue
and sat down
and the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue
were fixed upon him
and he said to them all

this day
is this scripture fulfilled
in your ears

[Luke 4:1-2, 13-14, 16-21]

How do we get a sense of purpose in our life?

  • Time in the wilderness

What do we do with that spirit of purpose?

  • preach the gospel to the poor
  • heal the broken-hearted
  • preach deliverance to prisoners
  • recover sight to the blind
  • set at liberty them of a contrite-spirit
  • declare the Jubilation year of YHVH

What is the most likely result?

and all they in the synagogue
when they heard these things
were filled with wrath
and rose up
and thrust him out of the city
and led him unto the cliff of the hill
whereon their city was built
that they might cast him off of it
headlong

[Luke 4:28-29]

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8 Comments

  1. When you have inquired to know and received wholeheartedly your calling then you do not go back to church. Except maybe once to piss off a bunch of people and kick off the ministry. This is what our perfect example teaches us. Anything else is dragging our feet and keeps us from the wilderness, from breaking free of the devil’s influence, keeps us from the abundant manifestation of the gifts of the spirit and keeps us from doing what we came to do.

  2. I like the post. But I am a little concerned about applying a scriptural account in one person’s life and applying it directly to ours. Jesus is the best example. But the mission he received will not be the mission I received. If it were then why spend time in the wilderness. So I know you know we need to be individually led.

    It is interesting because I have decided in my heart since last week that I should set up shop as a local healer. They have people who do that and we took my son to one when he was sick. Actually my in laws took him there. But I did not oppose and I went the second time.
    What I like about him was he takes no money and he doesn’t even notice what the people bring as a gift, usually a little bit of food.
    But what I thought was not so good was that he did not bless them per se at least not out loud. He was making an effort to be lead by the spirit as to what was the ailment and how to treat it. But he did not invoke the name of Christ.
    If I do it I certainly will say in the name of Jesus Christ.
    So healing people is a natural thing love leads us to do in any way we can. But as far as preaching the gospel in traveling etc I don’t feel it. And preach the gospel? Well I live my life. I teach anyone anything they will “hear”. But other than offering the sacrament I will not establishing a church and I will not send them to any church on the planet now.

  3. But the mission he received will not be the mission I received.

    I agree with that — perhaps I didn’t make them explicit enough in the post. He knew he was called to be a traveling healer/preacher — there were other who were to be [by necessity] called to stay in the communities of believers he established in his travels, to be the preachers, healers, etc. there.

  4. I have desires to do that whole list, but I’m still in the wilderness. But, per D&C 4, I know that when I come out of the wilderness, because of the desires I already have, I’ll be “called to the work.”

  5. But the mission he received will not be the mission I received.

    I agree with that — perhaps I didn’t make them explicit enough in the post. He knew he was called to be a traveling healer/preacher — there were other who were to be [by necessity] called to stay in the communities of believers he established in his travels, to be the preachers, healers, etc. there.

    I’m not sure that there is any prohibition in the scriptures concerning traveling. For example, the teachers and deacons are ordained to be standing ministers:

    And behold, the high priests should travel, and also the elders, and also the lesser priests; but the deacons and teachers should be appointed to watch over the church, to be standing ministers unto the church. (D&C 84:111)

    Yet, look at this scripture, which says the same thing concerning the elders:

    And again, I say unto you, I give unto you John A. Hicks, Samuel Williams, and Jesse Baker, which priesthood is to preside over the quorum of elders, which quorum is instituted for standing ministers; nevertheless they may travel, yet they are ordained to be standing ministers to my church, saith the Lord. (D&C 124:137)

    So, the principle of a standing minister is not one of travel prohibition and just as it applies to the elders, who receive the same ordination as the teachers and deacons to be standing ministers, so it ought to apply to the teachers and deacons, namely that “they may travel,” despite their ordination.

    There are 7 or so billion people on this planet who need to hear the gospel preached to them, preferably in this life, so it is understandable that the Lord gives no prohibition on traveling around and preaching His gospel of salvation. Obviously, circumstances may prohibit it or it may be wiser to stay put for whatever reason, but the mission of the Lord quoted in the scriptures appears to be a universal mission given to all believers who have “the spirit of YHVH” come upon them.

    If, for example,

    the spirit of YHVH is upon me

    and I am anointed by YHVH

    because he has anointed me

    would not this make me a Christ (Anointed One)? And if I am a new Christ creature, don’t all Christ creatures go about doing the same works, namely:

    to preach the gospel to the poor
    to heal the broken-hearted
    to preach deliverance to prisoners
    and the recovering of sight to the blind
    to set at liberty them of a contrite-spirit
    to declare the Jubilation year of YHVH

    ?

    It seems to me that this is simply a natural response to the newly converted man, desiring that all partake of the fruit of the tree of life that he just partook of, for it is sweeter than all that is sweet, whiter than all that is white and good to make one happy. It seems natural that all such who partake of it would suddenly be filled with desire to tell the whole world, not just the people in his neighborhood, but even the enemies beyond his borders, just as the sons of Mosiah desired to preach to their enemies, the Lamanites. Jacob, Nephi’s brother said that they had tried to reclaim the Lamanites through their preaching, but it was all in vain, so this appears to be a natural inclination and response to the spirit of YHVH coming upon a person and anointing him or her.

    There are many such patterns in the scriptures. For example, take Ether who apparently could not bear to think of what would happen to his people in their wickedness and tirelessly worked to preach repentance to them:

    And Ether was a prophet of the Lord; wherefore Ether came forth in the days of Coriantumr, and began to prophesy unto the people, for he could not be restrained because of the Spirit of the Lord which was in him. (Ether 12:2)

    All of these missionaries and prophets and apostles, who had the Spirit of the Lord upon and in them, all did the same thing, following the pattern or mission given to Jesus.

    Although callings will be different, especially when talking about the LDS church, which has many different callings that must be filled by the people, the general mission of the Lord as given by Isaiah seems to me to be pattern applicable to all saints who receive the Spirit.

    Obviously, there are occasions when the Spirit will give instructions to shut one’s mouth and not preach, for whatever reasons the Lord may have, or other obstacles may be in the way, such as health issues or passport troubles, etc., but even in such circumstances, the desire to go forth and preach to all should be had in all those who are prohibited from doing so. I would say that if that desire is not present, that that is an indication that the Spirit of the Lord has not come upon and anointed the person. In other words, that person still has some internal work to do. On the other hand, sometimes we can have the desire to preach, but not have the authority, or perhaps we do have (priesthood) authority but do not feel worthy. In either case, this is an indication that repentance is in order, for it is the Holy Ghost that “that giveth authority” according to Nephi, so this is not a case of not having the priesthood.

    The doctrine of a new creature, a new heart, a new nature is the doctrine of a new species. All lions are cut from the same cloth. All lions do the same thing, have the same inclinations, the same nature, eat the same things, etc. They may have different personalities, but a lion does what all lions do. Same goes for the hyena, bear, eagle or any other species on this planet. They are all patterned after the first one and all partake of the nature of that first one.

    In the case of Christ, he is the first one, the first fruits, the pattern that all other Christ creatures are patterned after. So, when the species of fallen men sacrifice themselves upon the altar of God, in order to take the next step and become a new Christ creature, their former fallen natures are wiped out. They are given the new Christ nature. Just like lions do what all lions do, so Christ creatures do what all Christ creatures do, even what Christ does, who they are patterned after.

    This being a true principle, the mission that Christ received must be the same mission that we, as Christ creatures must receive. The difference in what one Christ creature does as opposed to another are the circumstances and the conditions found among men, for the nature of Jesus is not set in stone but makes adjustments according to these conditions. But if all conditions are the same, all Christ creatures do the same kinds of things, namely, trying to save, preach to, heal, and set free fallen man, etc.

    My understanding is that this sameness of nature does not equate to boredom, because the manifestation of the nature (which are the gifts) is exceedingly diverse. Whereas all fallen men are of the same fallen nature, yet have many diverse pastimes and talents, these talents are limited in nature and power. Depending on the degree and number and kind of sins a fallen man has acquired, the sins tend to choke off man’s potential to enjoy the talents that he has obtained in his fallen circumstances. Also, we tend to get frustrated by our natural limitations. Thus we see fallen man many times becoming bored with his life.

    Not so with the Christ creature. All Christ creatures are of the same Christ-like nature, but they have infinitely greater talents and power, with no upper limitations, combining all those talents which fallen man has acquired with all those the heavenly Christ has, all of which is designed to delight man. Additionally, since sin has no hold upon the Christ creature, he gets to enjoy all his talents to the fullest. So, boredom is never an issue with the Christ creature and those that believe that becoming perfect and living in a perfect society with other perfect people would be the epitome of boredom are believing a lie promoted by the devil.

    When we compare the two natures, fallen man and the Christ nature, it becomes plain why all those who are born again suddenly want everyone else also be born again. The fallen nature looks dark, dull, dreary, boring, unhappy to the new creature and he is filled with desire that others partake of this exceedingly great joy. Hence the natural inclination and desire to travel around preaching to every creature.

  6. LDSA : I’m not sure that there is any prohibition in the scriptures concerning traveling.

    I don’t see a prohibition on traveling. And as the comments were being made I felt like , “Well I just am not up for serving a bunch of missions and traveling.” Christ’s mission differed only in specific methods and applications of the work. He was the lamb slain but not the only savior. Each of us are to be saviors to others. But it will not be in the same manner of Christ. His was a short mission in the flesh. Basically 3 years of official time. But I am confident he spent the rest of his years serving many people.

    And even in my feelings like I am not up for traveling and serving missions I think I gave the wrong impression. My patriarchal blessing said I would be called to travel.
    When people ask where I am from in the US I have a hard time answering. From the age of 18 on I spent 34 years in the US after my LDS mission. In those 34 years I moved to 15 different places among 10 different states. In each place serving in the LDS church and being a missionary to all around me. In fact I have given blessings to people in all ten of those states from 18 years till I left the US in 2008. I ranged from the west coast (California, Oregon Alaska) to the east coast (New York, Virginia). The numbers do not include the many trips made for odd jobs during the summer and multi week training for work (add 4 more states). Then I left the US in 2008 and spent 2 years in Mexico. I preached the truth and cast out devils and served with love many people. Then back to the US again for 3 months meeting people on planes, cars,buses and trains. Lets see where were the places California, Utah, Kansas, Indiana, Illinois. Oh then back to Mexico in three different states there meeting more people and visiting those who I had met before.
    I have in the last 18 months taught people in The Philippines, Guam, China, Japan, Mexico, and the US.
    And where ever I go I find myself doing the works mentioned above.

    And I have decided against setting up a healing place. I offer and do give blessings when ever the need arises.
    So to say I have not got the spirit of traveling is not accurate. I just don’t think of it as traveling. I just act as I am moved upon by my love for other people. And in the course of this I do see miracles and revelations.

  7. Right, I at first assumed, “Oh LDSA must have felt the inspiration bug hit him and sent these last thoughts via his mobile device.” but then I remembered he is using a dial-up connection. Anyways….a lot of misunderstanding goin on. Understanding is the most valuable thing we can acquire…and without understanding ourselves we will not understand anything least of all what the scriptures are saying to “US”.

  8. I’m not sure that there is any prohibition in the scriptures concerning traveling.

    Well isn’t a “standing minister” in a position that’s ready for quick action/movement. It’s a “ready”-stance. It reminds me of the Passover meal, which was to be eaten while standing — showing that they were ready to flee Egypt ASAP:

    and thus shall ye eat it
    with your loins girded
    your shoes on your feet
    and your staff in your hand
    and ye shall eat it in haste
    it is YHVH’s passover

    [Exodus 12:11]

    But Jesus certainly did ordain some to stay in communities — as standing ministers [who remained there until called to leave]. As in:

    and when Jesus was come
    into the ship
    he that had been possessed with the devil
    prayed him that he might go with him
    howbeit
    Jesus did not allow him

    but saith unto him

    go home to thy friends
    and tell them how great things YHVH hath done
    for thee
    and hath had compassion
    on thee

    and he departed
    and began to publish in Decapolis
    how great things Jesus had done
    for him
    and all men did marvel

    [Mark 5:18-20]

    While Jesus, himself, understood his calling as a traveling minister [who traveled about until called to abide].


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