THEME: KNOW YOURSELF THAT YOU MAY KNOW GOD
BREATH PRAYER: SPIRIT, HELP ME KNOW MY SHADOW, SO THAT I CAN LAY IT DOWN
- In a journal, note the day, time, and place you’re sitting.
- Open with a few moments of silence. Rest, and breathe deeply.
- Complete the following sentence in your journal: Today, I feel ________________.*
- Read these words slowly (aloud or silently):
“As your name deserves, O God, you will be praised to the ends of the earth.” (Psalm 48:10a NLT)
Pray this week’s breath prayer and pause for a few moments of silence.
Read Luke 4:16-30 two times, pausing in between readings to let the words soak into your mind and heart. When you have finished reading, take some time to answer the questions below in your journal.
- Where is Jesus as He delivers this sermon? Why is this location significant?
- What kind of person do you think the people of Nazareth wanted Jesus to be? What would the people of Nazareth want him to say?
- Look closely at verse 22. Think back to a time where people spoke well of you, or were amazed at something you had done, how did their affirmation make you feel?
- Have you ever changed your behavior or compromised your true self in order to make sure others spoke well of you? Thinking back to that experience, what were you afraid of?
- In verse 23, Jesus seems to know exactly who the people around Him want Him to be, and what they want Him to say. Do you think the “role” others expect you to play is different from who you truly are? What does that role look like? What do others expect you to say or do?
- Read verses 28-29 and imagine the furious response of the people of Nazareth. If your closest friends/family reacted to you in this way, how would you feel? What would you do in response? Have you ever felt this way in your past? If so, describe that experience.
- Look at Jesus’ response to the crowd in verse 30. Notice how He doesn’t try to change their minds or win them over, and yet He is perfectly at peace with who He is and what He is called to do. In your daily life, do you experience that same sense of peace and confidence? Why or why not?
Digging Deeper … Read the passage a third time, imagining yourself as a person watching Jesus from within the crowd. As you read, imagine what you would see, smell, taste, touch, and hear. Does anything in particular about Jesus’ words or actions stand out to you? Ask God to draw your attention to one thing about Jesus in this story. Once you focus on that one aspect, ask God why He wanted to reveal this to you in particular, and listen for what He brings to mind.
- Summary: Write a brief summary (five sentences or less) of what God revealed as you studied His Word.
- Closing: Thank God for sending Christ, the Eternal Word, and the truest representation of Himself in human form. Spirit, help me know my shadow, so that I can lay it down.