What Should 

I Do?



What Should I Do?

Luke 4:31-44 p.79 (Mark 1:21-39)



Imagine it’s Saturday morning.  You feel tired after a busy week.  You can’t lie in because you’ve got a busy day ahead starting with taking the kids to their swimming lesson.  You say to yourself, “I’ll just make myself a nice cup of tea and have a bit of time to myself before I get into the day”.   However, the peace you hoped for alludes you.  The kids have woken up early and you can hear them in the bedroom jumping up and down on the beds.  You go into the kitchen to find that the washing machine which you put on last night before you went to bed has sprung a leak and you have a flood on your hands.  The dog is following you around hoping you are going to take him for his customary early morning walk.  You decide to try just letting him out in the garden.  As you go towards the back door you step on something squelchy.  The cat has brought a mouse in and you have just trodden in it.  You let the dog out, wipe your slipper and go back to put the kettle on.  Just then the phone rings.  It’s your work.  There’s an emergency.  Can you come in and deal with it?  You look out to call the dog in.  He’s nowhere to be seen.  Then you spy him through the fence in the neighbour’s garden digging furiously in their flower bed.  At that moment there’s a cry from the bedroom.  Someone has fallen off the bed and bumped their head.

What do you do first?


JESUS DECISIONS (Luke 4:31-44)

Jesus had days when he was under pressure - people wanting him to do things.  But he doesn’t appear to get stressed however much pressure he was under.  How did he decide what to do and when to do it?


Where to go after Nazareth? (Luke 4:16-30)

He went to Capernaum? - Away from home where he was known to an area where he was a stranger.  From a farming village in the hills to a fishing village on lake Galilee


He’s had a busy week.  The Sabbath is a day of rest

Should he have a lie in, go for a sail on the lake or go to the synagogue?

He went to the synagogue


When he’s invited to preach in the synagogue what should he say?

He had a bad reaction at Nazareth - they wanted to throw him off the cliff.

How would people react elsewhere?


He teaches in the synagogue at Capernaum

Part way through the sermon a demon possessed man interrupts

Should he ask elders to remove him or heal him?

Jesus casts out the demon and heals the man


He is invited to Simon’s home for a meal

Simon’s mother-in-law has high fever - this is not a life threatening illness

The Pharisees Sabbath ‘law’ said a doctor could save life but not heal

Should Jesus break the ‘law’ ?

Should he go near the woman?  He might catch bug himself and become ill

Jesus heals the woman


The Sabbath lasted from Friday sunset to Saturday sunset.

When the Sabbath was over people brought their sick friends to Jesus  and “the whole town gathered at the door” (Mk 1:33)

Should Jesus do a mass healing of all the sick people? This would save time & energy

But Jesus treated them as individuals?

“Placed his hands on every one of them and healed them all” Lk4:40


Next morning - How did he feel?

Tired? A lot on his mind?  Did not sleep well? He woke early

Should he have a lie in or get stuck into all the jobs to be done?

He went for a walk - took time to listen to the Lord, seek guidance about  what to do next


Simon and his companions went out looking for him (Mk 1:36,37)

“Everyone in looking for you”, they said

Jesus is under pressure from people wanting him to stay in Capernaum

Compare Temptations:  Popularity, Power, Prestige (Lk 4:1-13 23rd Jan 2011)


Jesus had a sense of purpose & direction

“I must preach the good news to other towns also, because that is what God sent me to do” Lk 4:43

This was a step into the unknown.  What sort of reception would he get? 

He did not know but believed this was the right thing to do - God’s will

Jesus did not get overwhelmed by the pressure of things to do or people’s expectations because he was constantly guided by the Lord.  The Lord gave him the time and the energy to do what HE wanted Jesus to do




How might the principles of the story of Jesus work out in our lives?

We shall stop at points in the story and see which of the options you think Nora should take.  You may also be able to suggest another option


The light behind the curtains let her know that it was Sunday morning. Nora thought it couldn’t possibly be morning already. Where had the night gone? It had been a lovely party but they had all gone to bed far too late for her liking.

She could hear Cathy downstairs, busy in the kitchen making breakfast for the family and Bob, Cathy’s husband, tidying up the party debris.


Cathy came in with a cup of tea and said that it would be nice if they could all go to church - the old Church that Nora had joined all those years ago. Wouldn’t it be lovely Cathy said, all being there together as a family again. Nora was tires and would quite liked to have had a bit of time to herself while the family were out, but she also thought it would be nice to see some of her old friends at the church again


Q 1.  Should Nora

·          Stay in and read the bible by herself

·          Go to church with the family

·          Watch songs of praise instead


It was a bit of an effort to get breakfast in time for the ten o’clock service.  So they were running a bit late when set out in Bob’s car.  Along their way Nora spotted Vera an old school chum.  She visited her mum in the old folks home on Sunday mornings and was walking towards the bus stop on the opposite side of the road.  Bob asked if Nora wanted him to pull up so that Nora could say hello. It was raining so maybe they should offer her a lift.


Q 2.  Should Nora

Wave as they drive past

Stop and say hello

Offer Vera a lift


Nora enjoyed the service and especially the cup of tea and homemade shortbread afterwards.  It was there that she met old Mr. McDonald. She could hardly believe that it had been nearly 50 years since he had taught her at Sunday School. He had been a very young man then. He started telling Nora all about Mrs McDonald and how she was now completely housebound and a bit confused but would be thrilled if Nora came round to see her after Church and had a bit of dinner with them. There was one snag though he told her. He was looking after his grandson.  He had a bad cough - that was why the lad had not come to church with them this morning.  Nora didn’t want to get ill.  She had a lot of travelling to do and a lot of people to meet that week.


Q 3.  Should Nora

·          Accept the invitation for lunch

·          Find a reason for not going round

·          Just go to the door and speak to Mrs McDonald on the step


Later that evening some more friends dropped in. Poor Nora’s eyes were beginning to close with tiredness and she was longing for an early night. It was then that Cathy suggested they look at the family photo albums together because she felt Nora might not be back to see them again for a very long time.


Next morning Nora woke early to the sun shining through the chink in the curtains.  She knew the family would soon be up and getting ready to go out to their various places of work. She wondered what she should do.


Q 4.  Should Nora

·          Have a lie in and keep out of the familys way

·          Get up and help Cathy get breakfast for the family

·          Go for a walk to have some quiet to pray


Nora had enjoyed her visit  to Cathy and the family but she wanted to get on because she had a lot of other folk to see on this short trip back to the old country.  She had promised to go and see her cousin in Cornwall and there were friends to see in London where she had worked for a while as a young woman.


So over breakfast she was wondering how soon she might be able to leave. During breakfast Cathy said she had some great news. One of Nora’s nephews, Eric who works abroad, had heard she was home on holiday and he wanted to meet her. Could she possibly stay in the area until he flies home to Aberdeen on Thursday he’d like to know?  He just happens to have planned a short weekend break. It would mean so much to him especially as he’s getting married soon and would like Nora to meet his fiancé. He thinks his favourite Auntie Nora might not be back in the UK again for years and isn’t it amazing that their paths have crossed this time.


Q 5.  Should Nora

·          Stay on till Eric arrives

·          Leave that day as planned

·          Fly back the following weekend




TIME by Michel Quoist quoted in An Anthology of Hope  by Campbell R Steven p.183

Order of Service 6 Feb 2011


Call to worship               Isaiah 40:28-31 p.703

Hymn 213                      Every new morning

Prayer and Lord’s prayer

Reading                         Luke 4:31-44 p.79


Hymn 166                      Lord of all hopefulness

Auntie Norah's Dilemna

Hymn 530                      One more step

Offering + Hymn 180      Give thanks + Prayer

Hymn 167                      Guide me, O thou great Jehovah

Benediction and Amen