The message of Easter is new life. Not just new circumstances, not just a new life arrangement, but a completely new restoration of life out of death.
As this Gospel continues, Luke continues to build his case for the powerful identity of Jesus. At this point, we’ve seen him display power over sin, disease, and elements of nature. And now, Luke’s demonstrating that Jesus also has power over the very elemental forces of evil in the world, the pervasive forces that destroy humanity and all of creation.
As we've witnessed over the past few weeks, Luke is painting his portrait of Jesus, stroke by stroke. We have seen his power over disease. We have seen his power over sin. Now, Luke tells a story of Jesus’ astounding power over the chaotic forces of nature.
In this week’s story, Luke paints a dramatic picture of two people who claim to be interested in Jesus, who want to know him, and want to hear what he has to say. By the end of the story though, these two people look very different— one is transformed, full of assurance and joy, and understanding the grace freely given to her. The other leaves unchanged, condemned and confused.
In this story Luke is describing yet another incident in which Jesus powerfully heals, but his emphasis this time is less on the healing and more on the faith of the man in question, the Centurion. The story says that Jesus was “amazed” at this man’s faith (7:9) - one of the very few places in the gospels where Jesus commends the way someone approaches him. It should make us stop and ask- how did this man approach Jesus, what was so remarkable about it, and what does it suggest about how we should approach Jesus too?
Our study this week takes us to Luke 6:27 where we read a passage from a collection of Jesus’ teachings. The material is similar to what we also find in Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount in Matthew’s gospel. Our text presents an exhortation to be kind to our enemies.
Jesus proclaimed and demonstrated that he actually was the fulfillment of the Sabbath, embodying in his own person what the Sabbath had always been about: the deep rest of God. We’ll spend time this Sunday exploring what this Sabbath rest is all about, why we need it, and how Jesus gives us the deep rest for which all our souls long.
As we continue to unpack the Identity of the King, we see in Luke 5:17-26 that Jesus proclaims who he is with his words and his actions. Jesus is presented with a paralyzed man and the first thing he does is forgive the man of his sins. As Jesus is questioned about his ability and authority, he then heals the man physically, showing that Jesus is the one who can forgive sins, he shows that he is God.
In these two stories in Luke 5, we see Jesus forming friendships that could be deemed scandalous. Jesus is interacting with two characters here — the man with leprosy, and Levi, the tax collector. Jesus however, does something remarkable here by crossing boundaries, and making sure both of these people were included in many aspects of his life.
This passage is famous for Jesus’ calling of Peter and his friends to become “fishers of men.” But what is often overlooked is that Jesus himself is the supreme Fisher of men in this story. He wisely and winsomely lures Peter and his colleagues into loving relationship with himself, leaving everything behind to do so.
As we move deeper and deeper into Luke’s gospel we’re seeing more about who Jesus is through what had been predicted about him, through the stories about his birth. And now, we look at who Jesus is as he begins his public ministry.
In this famous passage, we find Jesus alone in the wilderness, confronted by the devil who seeks to lie to him and tempt him into abandoning his position as Savior. The scene is not unfamiliar, and brings to bear many important things for us to learn today.
Chapters 1, 2, 3 (and 4:1-13) in Luke’s Gospel form an introduction to the gospel message featuring Jesus’ public ministry. In chapter one, the story begins with angelic messages about promised births to Elizabeth and Zechariah plus Mary and Joseph. Luke 2 gives us the amazing birth narrative of Jesus, complete with shepherds and angels and a manger. And then there are two Temple scenes: one with baby Jesus and one with Jesus as a boy.