Throughout the first eight chapters of Luke, we have looked at the simple teachings of John and Jesus in their call to Kingdom transformation. Jesus gathered a multitude of people to follow him. These people are diverse in their opinions, convictions, social status, political leanings, careers, and even their gender. When you look at the group of people Jesus surrounded himself with as disciples, who do you most associate with? Who shocks you the most? Out of this group of people, Jesus chose 12 to signify the multitude as a New Israel.
Last week we looked at the Parable of the Different Soils and how we see the contrast of the soils present in the people Jesus meets leading up to that teaching. Choosing to walk with Jesus is how our soil is cultivated for good seed to be planted. The more we walk with Jesus the more we open ourselves to allow Jesus to remove stones and thorns that get in the way of mature growth. How have you seen yourself grow in maturity with Christ in the last five years? What habits are you intentionally developing in your walk with Christ to bring transformative maturity in the next five years?
The Gospel of Luke makes a major transition in chapter 9:28-36, The Transfiguration. While transfigured on the mountain, Jesus spoke with Moses and Elijah about his “departure,” which was about to be fulfilled at Jerusalem. This departure is better translated at “exodus.” With this event, Luke transitions the narrative from Jesus gathering the New Israel and begins to move them towards Jerusalem. This is a New Exodus beginning at the Jordan river and moving towards the temple in Jerusalem. Luke wants his readers to recognize the liberation from slavery that Jesus brings. This liberation is one that will do more than turn “Egypt” upside-down. This liberation will turn the whole world on its head and establish a new world order. When Israel entered the promised land, God gave them a law to live by that would not only set them apart but would make them a light to the nations. We often think of the law as bad but much of the law was based in social justice to end reigns of abuse of power.
Jesus was anointed by the Holy Spirit at his baptism in the Jordan River. He gathers a diverse group of followers and dubs them the New Israel by selecting Twelve to be Apostles. He is now shifting direction and heading towards Jerusalem (Chapters 9-19). Along the way, we are going to focus on three major themes his teachings and actions focus on. This Sunday (July 14) we will look at the cost of following Jesus. Salvation is not earned by us, but Jesus does have an expectation of those who claim to be part of his Kingdom. Have we cheapened grace by removing expectations from the Christian walk? July 21, we will look at what Jesus says about how we handle money. Does money ever get in the way of loving people? On July 28, we will look at Jesus’ table manners. Who does Jesus eat with? How do we understand table fellowship in our culture? What does this tell us about the fellowship we keep around the Lord’s Table each Sunday?
To prepare for this Sunday, read Luke 9:57-62 and 14:25-35.
When Jesus calls you, he says, “Come and die.” This is upside-down in a world where following someone typically leads to victory and “life.”