Where is the Kingdom?

Luke LIV: Lk. 17:20-37 Introduction This text is about what the Kingdom of God is like and therefore how Christians are to go about seeking it and building it. The Text: Having rebuked the Pharisees for prizing the wrong things (Lk. 16:15), the Pharisees ask Jesus when the kingdom of God will come (Lk. 17:20)….

Contagious Joy

Luke LIII: Lk. 17:1-19 Introduction In Escape from Reason, Francis Shaeffer argues that one of the central elements of the turn of Western Civilization away from God has been a turn toward despair – a certain hopelessness about God, human life, and the universe. Despair tends to spread bitterness and apathy, but Jesus came to…

The Great Fixed Chasm

Luke LII: Lk. 16:19-31 Introduction This is the third story in row that Jesus has told about a rich man. Remember that the context of all three is the grumbling of the Pharisees and scribes, that Jesus receives sinners and eats with them (Lk. 15:2). The point is to make us care about what God…

The Shrewdness of the Sons of Light

Luke LI: Lk. 16:1-18 Introduction This is one of the more challenging portions of the book of Luke, with somewhat differing interpretations in the history of the church. But the central point is about loyalty to God and how that drives the right kind of wise and generous love of the world. Summary of the…

Entering Into His Joy

Luke L: Lk. 15:1-32 Introduction This famous chapter of Luke focuses on how God responds when sinners repent, and our temptations when that happens. God rejoices when sinners repent, but sinners are tempted to sin by not entering into His joy. Summary of the Text: This chapter consists of three stories about things that have…

Salt for the Feast: The Gift of Shame

Luke XLIX: Lk. 14:1-34 Introduction What’s the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to you? What’s the most shameful thing you’ve ever thought or said or done? This passage is about the gift of shame. Summary of the Text: Jesus dines with a ruler of the Pharisees on a Sabbath and heals a man with…

The Narrow Door of Faith

Luke XLVIII: Lk. 13:18-36 Introduction Hebrews says that faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things unseen (Heb. 11:1). Here, in these three scenes, Jesus challenges His followers to truly believe in Him. Summary of the Text: Jesus begins by comparing the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed that grows…

Repent or Perish

Luke XLVII: Luke 13:1-17 Introduction Jesus gives three teachings in this portion of the gospel, all centered around the glorious call to repentance. Repentance & Calamities Jesus has just finished charging his followers to read the signs of the times and warned them about petty disputes (Lk. 12:54-59). It’s at “that very time” when some…

Mary Magdalene and You: Resurrection Day 2017

Jn. 20:1-18 Introduction It’s no accident that the very first eyewitness of the resurrection was Mary Magdalene. Her testimony has been remembered and celebrated since the earliest days of the Christian faith and remains a wonderful encouragement to us. Who Was Mary Magdalene? Tradition has suggested that Mary Magdalene may have been the unnamed sinful…

Peter Pan & Palm Sunday

Mt. 21:1-16 Introduction “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” cried the people as Jesus rode into Jerusalem on that first triumphal entry (Mt. 21:9). “Hosanna to the son of David!” cheered the children as Jesus drove out those who were buying and selling in the temple and healed the blind…