Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Luke's Look at Jesus

The Ox of Luke's Gospel
As part of Legacy U at Legacy Church this month, I am teaching what we call "Luke's Look at Jesus." (The other sessions are taught by members of our pastoral staff. Check them out, too.)

Without going into a lot of detail, I have observed with others that Luke had a huge heart for those to whom society and the religious folk of Jesus' day gave little value and recorded more of Jesus' interaction with them than any of the other three evangelistic biographers of Jesus.

Here are three groups that are the most obvious:

Outcasts. Jesus intentionally went to the outcasts--those whom religious and clean people refused to touch. Jesus not only touched them, but healed them, giving them new status among those who thought they alone had God's favor. (Luke 17:11-19)

Women. Jesus not only taught women, he entered their homes, (Luke 10:38-42) healed them, and was perfectly comfortable having them travel with him. (Luke 8:1-3) One of the few times we are told Jesus' "heart went out" to someone was when he saw the weeping widow leaving town to bury her only son. (Luke 7:11-17) His birth stories about John the Baptist and Jesus revolve around Elizabeth and Mary, rather than their husbands. Luke recognized Jesus' attention to those who held little status in the religious world Jesus came to restore.

Outsiders. Jesus was not easily amazed. One of the two times Luke observed him startled was when a Centurion acknowledged his authority and his use of it. Jesus declared he had not seen "such great faith even in Israel" like that of this outsider. (Luke 7:1-10) Jesus' most famous story was that of the Good Samaritan, and Luke is the only Gospel author to record it. (Luke 10:25-37)


Luke's look at Jesus highlights Jesus' ministry to the outcasts, women, and outsiders of that day more than any of the other Evangelists.

I wonder if we who call ourselves disciples or followers of Jesus find ourselves serving those whom our society and religious community consider outcasts and outsiders

What would our churches and cities look like if we took our apprenticeship to Jesus seriously and actually followed him where he went?

Just wondering.

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