Jesus used a setup at a dinner party to teach about the kingdom values we are to live by now: compassion towards others, a humble regard for ourselves, and a generous hospitality to serve others who can't return the favor.
In Luke 12:13-21, Jesus teaches a parable about riches, that we should be rich towards God instead of ourselves.
There is a heavy emphasis on "work" in Luke 10. Jesus sends out the 72 to minister and then teaches about the Samaritan neighbor as a response to the question of what must be done to inherit eternal life. But at the end of the narrative arc, he reminds us that the most important thing is not to be consumed by our work, even for him, but to rest with him. We learn the principle that we first rest with him, and then we go to work.
This pattern runs through the whole chapter as well.
While evangelism may happen in the course of "mass evangelism" events (gospel meetings, online sermons, door knocking campaigns, etc.) we see better methods taught in scripture. In Luke 10, Jesus teaches about going out in pairs, looking for a person of peace, and beginning to do the long, slow work of presenting the kingdom of God in word and deed among that person's network.
Some Christians have the attitude that evangelism and outreach should be left to the "pros." While there are many reasons for this, the reality is that Jesus says that his mission is for all. He commands us to pray about the harvest and to go--with his authority, as representatives of his.
In many ways, we reduce Christianity to a religion of boredom. Instead, Jesus invites us to a life of excitement through connecting with him in prayer and sharing the good news with others.
Jesus interrupted the funeral procession of a widow's only son because he had compassion for the woman. He raised the boy back to life and gave him back to her mother. Out of grief, despair, and death, Jesus brought help and hope. Jesus is help and hope for those in need.
A centurion had a servant that was near death. On his behalf, Jewish religious leaders approached Jesus to ask for his help. But the basis of their request was wrong--they told Jesus this centurion "deserved" for Jesus to help him; he was "worthy" of it because he had done enough to earn this help from Jesus.
The centurion had a different idea. As Jesus approached the centurion, he sent an envoy to Jesus with this message: "I am not worthy." The centurion related that he understood how authority worked and that it was enough for Jesus to simply say the word and his servant would be healed.
He had faith in Jesus and in the authority of Jesus. He did not have faith in himself.
What is your faith in? Your own deservedness? Or in Jesus?
The purpose of a gospel is to make known the person and ministry of Jesus. But what happens next? What does the church do? Matthew and Mark end with a call to mission, for believers to go into the world and make disciples. John ends with the call to feed Jesus' sheep, to continue the discipling ministry that Jesus had with his own disciples, to take that ministry to others. Luke ends differently because his gospel flows into another book, Acts, that demonstrates the actual ministry of the church (through the apostles) that was commanded at the end of the other gospels. Thus, Luke's *ending* is also a *beginning*.
But it, too, deals with the questions of how to make Jesus known in the world. Luke demonstrates three ways by which Jesus is made known among us, and by which we can make him known among all nations: in Christ-centered testimony and teaching, around the Lord's Table, and in the text of the Bible.
In Isaiah 40, the prophet preaches about the comfort that God will bring to his people when they learn to trust him and depend on him. Many times, we worship our own idols rather than the living God. Nothing can compare to God. Let us wait for renewal from him.
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