Tue. March 26

Tuesday March 26, 2019

Today’s Focus                                                          Themes in the Gospel of Luke       

Today’s Scripture Reading                                                 Luke 1 New Living Translation (NLT)

Introduction

1 Many people have set out to write accounts about the events that have been fulfilled among us. They used the eyewitness reports circulating among us from the early disciples. Having carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I also have decided to write an accurate account for you, most honorable Theophilus, so you can be certain of the truth of everything you were taught.

Daily Reflection                                                         Excerpts from R. Allan Culpepper on Themes from the Gospel of Luke

God’s Redemptive Purposes Revealed

“Luke sets the life of Jesus both in its historical context and in a theological context.  All that happens in the Gospel is ultimately a part of God’s redemptive plan for the salvation of all humanity.”  “The preaching of the gospel to the Gentiles is a direct consequence and outworking of the purposes of God that guided Jesus, but will not be fulfilled until the coming of the Son of Man in glory.”

  1. Salvation for All Alike

“Perhaps Luke’s most dramatic insight is his perception that Jesus announced salvation for all people alike.  Although Jesus’ initiatives toward all persons regardless of their social standing are a common feature of all the Gospels, not other Gospel is so clear and emphatic on this point.”  Gentile Christians, Jewish Christians, Sinners, Samaritans, Women, are all specifically and intentionally included among those for whom the coming of the kingdom is good news and points to the inauguration of a new community in which freedom, dignity, and equality may be realized.

  1. The Blessings of Poverty and the Dangers of Wealth

“The poor are also prominent in Luke.  Just as Jesus habitually associates with tax collectors and sinners, so he also declares God’s vindication of the poor and divine judgment upon the rich.  Popular theology in this day and age held that the rich were blessed of God, but Jesus turned popular theology on it head, maintaining that God would lift up the poor and cast out the rich.”

  1. Table Fellowship

“One of the most characteristic settings for the ministry of Jesus in the Gospel of Luke is the meal scene.  Jesus eats with tax collectors and sinners, with Pharisees, with the crowd, and with disciples.  Here then is the heart of Luke’s thinking:  After investigating everything carefully, Luke has found that he recognizes “the truth concerning the things about which we have been instructed” when memory of the actions and teachings of Jesus’ ministry is enlightened by the Scriptures and reenacted in the hospitality and table fellowship of the community of believers.”

  1. The Role of a Disciple

Christology and discipleship are always connected. How one understands the role of Jesus as the Christ shapes one’s understanding of discipleship.  Luke softens the critique of disciples (in comparison to other gospels).  Jesus is the model for the disciples to imitate.  He is empowered by the Spirit, He is compassionate toward the poor and oppressed, He heals and forgives, He prayers, and He dies a model martyr’s death.  The disciples are called with an unconditional, absolute, person-centered call:  “Follow me.” Appropriately this gospel will end on a note of blessing and doxology.”

  1. The importance of an Accurate Witness

Reading the Gospel of Luke

“The study of the Gospel according to Luke is a richly rewarding experience.  Luke is a good storyteller and has the penetrating insight of a prophet.  As a result, the Gospel is engaging and offers a perspective on the redemptive events of Jesus’ ministry.  It continually calls the Christian community to model more fully Jesus’ concern for the oppressed, the overlooked, and the outcast.  The kingdom community is one in which the social barriers that divide and exclude are torn down and God’s grace can begin to flow to and among the wealthy and the poor, the sick and the self-righteous, the powerful and the excluded.  The study and teaching of such a Gospel can serve to actualize in individuals and in congregations the redemptive purposes of God that guided Jesus’ ministry and resulted in His death and resurrection.  If the Spirit empowered the witness of this Gospel, then by opening ourselves to it we may also be guided by God’s Spirit to be a part of God’s ongoing redemptive work.  The study of the Gospel, therefore, calls us to see the sights and hear the words of Jesus’ ministry as if we had been among the eyewitnesses, to grasp Luke’s distinctive perspective on the person and work of Jesus, and to see the implications of the Gospel for the times and circumstances in which we live.”

Above comments excerpted from “The New Interpreter’s Bible, Volume IX”, Abingdon Press, Nashville, Tennessee 1995 (pages 20-30)

Some questions for reflection

  • Based on what you read above; is there anything that Culpepper cites in Luke’s gospel that surprised you?
  • As we prepare now to work our way through the gospel of Luke, what theme/themes do you think your heart will be searching for?
  • Are you excited to re-read this gospel? Why or why not

Today’s discipleship challenge

Again, share your thoughts on the above questions with your group or a trusted friend.

Today’s prayer

Almighty God, by our baptism into the death and resurrection of Your Son, Jesus Christ, You turn us from the old life of sin.  Grant that we who are reborn to new life in Him may live in righteousness and holiness all our days, through Your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.

4 thoughts on “Tue. March 26

  1. Keith Ricks

    FROM 03.25.2019 THE PRAYER WAS:
    Most gracious God, according to Your wisdom the deep waters are opened up and clouds drop gentle moisture. We praise You for the return of planting and harvest seasons, for the fertility of the soil, for the harvesting of the crops, and for all other blessings that You in Your generosity pour out on all people. Give us a full understanding of Your mercy, that our lives may show respect, gratefulness, and care for Your creation; through Jesus Christ our Savior and Lord. Amen

    My Thoughts:
    I do Love this Prayer. First We are acknowledging God as Creator and Orchestrator and being thankful. Then We are Praying for Knowledge so we may Care for Gods’ Creation. It is a sensible request from Our Creator, You would think, as it is in line with the directions written some thousands of Years ago in Genesis… Something about the creation of Us and Our responsibilities, the word “dominion” (or govern, or care over, for..) with a bunch of words meaning The Earth and all in, on, etc.…
    Peace Ya’ll Keith

    Reply
    1. Pastor Jerry

      Hey brother! It is a beautiful prayer. So glad you like it. I often thank God that we, as humans, are not be graded on our abilities to be Good stewards of God’s magnificient creation, though we are subject to our sinfulness for scarring this incredible garden.
      P, B, &L
      PJ

      Reply
  2. Pastor Jerry

    I am really looking forward to re-reading through the gospel of Luke! I’ve always appreciated the inclusiveness with which Luke so easily navigates in a world that was even more segregated than the world in which we live. Somedays, I wonder if the people who confess that Jesus Christ is Lord with their lips will ever have a deeper understanding of how radical Jesus’ teachings were not only in the 1st century but still in the 21st century. Alas the road of discipleship, the road of our pilgrimage contains the many “one steps” of each of our lives. May these steps yield bountiful fruit in all of our lives and in the life of our community of faith!
    P, B, &L
    PJ

    Reply
  3. Keith Ricks

    Some questions for reflection:
    1. is there anything that Culpepper cites in Luke’s gospel that surprised you?

    Absolutely! One that has bothered me about the words chosen in The Bible as well as the way we use them today.

    Under “Reading the Gospel of Luke”
    The kingdom community is one in which the social barriers that divide and exclude are torn down and God’s grace can begin to flow to and among the wealthy and the poor, the sick and the self-righteous, the powerful and the excluded.
    >> The words are beautiful and All inclusive, I can feel this of God.

    Unlike, However, Under “The Blessings of Poverty and the Dangers of Wealth” and many places in the Bible…
    “… Jesus turned popular theology on it head, maintaining that God would lift up the poor and Cast out the rich”
    Guess there were no Good Wealthy people in those days. And of Course, All Poor were Just Splendid Folks, I’m sure!

    2. … what theme/themes do you think your heart will be searching for?
    The coming of the kingdom is good news and points to the inauguration of a new community in which freedom, dignity, and equality may be realized. I will be Feeling this Gospel closely because I believe We have spent enough Time in this “inauguration” stage reading and observing, We have all noticed how Fed up people have become with this… I am hoping for some insight into the Wonderful stage two Explosion that has been brewing for so long because it sure feels like the People of the World un-noticed have been connecting and a God, not Religion eruption is soon to occur. Just saying My observations and I don’t watch the Tv news, it doesn’t report as You would say, on the community.

    3. Are you excited to re-read this gospel? – Hmm, You might be able to guess that at this point. Love to All, Keith.

    Reply

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