“And now, behold, I am this day eighty-five years old. I am still as strong today as I was in the day that Moses sent me; my strength now is as my strength was then, for war and for going and coming. So now give me this hill country of which the Lord spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the Lord will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the Lord said.”
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives
and recovering of sight to the blind,
to set at liberty those who are oppressed,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Today’s passages remind me that God is big enough to see the big picture AND the minute detail. To borrow Paul’s metaphor from 1 Corinthians 12… God cares about the “Body” and “its parts.” In other words… He cares about the individual.
We read of Joshua continuing what Moses began – allotting the land to the 12 tribes of Israel. The people were grouped by their tribe. Their identity was based on being a member of a group. Yet, there is a narrative in Chapter 14 describing Caleb’s land allotment. The writer of Joshua takes the time to remember God’s promise to Caleb – that he would possess the land that he spied out 45 years earlier. God remembered Caleb. He cares about the individual.
In Luke, we read of Jesus beginning His earthly ministry. Luke’s gospel contains so many rich details. Listen to Luke’s words…
Now when the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various diseases brought them to him, and he laid his hands on every one of them and healed them (Luke 4:40).
Luke tells us that the day is almost over and there are still sick waiting to be healed. If I were Jesus, I would be tempted to perform one big group healing; “You’re healed. Now go home. I’m tired.” Thankfully, I’m not Jesus!! Jesus “laid his hands on every one of them.” He cared for them individually.
Luke 4:18-19 are some of my favorite verses in all of scripture. Why are they my favorite? Because one day when I was reading the bible, God knew the inner-workings of my heart. He knew I felt “poor” and spiritually “blind.” So when I came to Luke 4:18-19, I felt like Jesus was speaking directly to me. The Holy Spirit worked in my heart to remind me that God knew me and loved me anyway! God cares for the individual!