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Showing posts from August, 2016

The Gospel of Luke, Responses to Jesus - "I Have Come that You Might Have Life" - Do we want it?

Luke 5:1-6:16IntroductionWhen we live into God's will for our lives, we can't help but draw a reaction from those around us.  We become - in Jesus' words - salt and light.  Such lives of distinction are either received, or we are rejected.  Some are drawn to the light.  Others can't help but fear the light and to shrink back into darkness.

This is precisely what happens as a result of Jesus living into his baptismal identity.  Beginning in Luke 5:1, we begin to see individuals and groups responding to Jesus.  There are those like Peter and Levi whose receive new starts, and there are those like the leper and paralytic whose lives are healed and renewed physically by Jesus' ability to bring the Father's compassion and healing into the world.  By living for his Father, Jesus brings life where there is boredom and frustration.  Jesus brings inclusion where there is rejection.  Jesus brings restoration where there is sickness and a life-restricting handicap.
However,…

The Gospel of Luke, Chapter 4 - part 2 - The Beginning of Jesus' Ministry & Rejection at Nazareth

Luke 4:14-30IntroductionJesus has now been prepared and tested for his mission.  He has received a great sign of affirmation from his Heavenly Father at his baptism, and he has stayed true to his baptismal identity as God's beloved Son through the time of testing in the wilderness.  Now, he is ready to step fully into his calling.
In the third major section of his gospel, Luke details Jesus' active Galilean ministry (4:14-9:50).[1]  Filled with Jesus actively healing, confronting evil, naming powers of resistance, and teaching, this section begins with Jesus declaring his specific mission (4:16-19).  It includes a summation of Jesus' ethics (6:20-49).  Through it all, we see Jesus drawing a clear difference between his Father's kingdom and those trapped in darkness and bondage:
"The contrast between Jesus' power and the growing rejection of him is the major tension in this story.  This conflict is at the center of the plot of Luke's Gospel:  Jesus has great…

The Gospel of Luke, chapter 4 - The Temptation of Jesus & Trials in Our Own Walk of Faith

The Temptations of Christ, 12th century mosaic at St Mark's Basilica,Venice Luke 4:1-13Introduction:  Trials and Temptations:  Attempts to Lure Us Away from our God-given IdentityLast week, we talked about the love our Heavenly Father had for Jesus, and - through Jesus - the love that God has for us.  1 Peter 1:3-5 paints a wonderful portrait of everything God is willing to do for us through Jesus Christ:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ!  By his great mercy he has given us a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who are being protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
By God's great mercy in Jesus Christ, God looks upon each of us and declares that we are God's beloved.  God looks upon us with favor and desires to bless us with good things.
However…