27 September 2014

Jesus Warns of the Front Door of Self-Reliance

Rembrandt - The Return of the Prodigal Son
I am no longer worthy to be called your son; make me like one of your hired servants.

If you want to read some sound teaching on The Prodigal Son read "The Prodigal God" by Timothy Keller.

"For all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God."  Only one is righteous. Only one is pure. Only one is perfect. Not the ones standing away from the table muttering. Not the outcasts who are at the table.

Luke 15 is such a brilliant chapter because it so succinctly explains the human condition and the mission his followers are to be on for the rest of this age. At the start of the third parable, he warns about those who love stuff but despise the One who provides it.

25 September 2014

Jesus Wants to Party

I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent. 

Did you know that joy is a fruit of the spirit? Would you know that if you went to a church? Not sure. Would you know that if you were to witness heaven?  Oh, yes.

As Jesus tell these parables about the lost, there are two groups. One group eating together.  The other group standing to the side muttering to themselves. Which group is Jesus with? In fact, as we have gone through this study and have hopefully gotten to know Jesus better, could you picture Jesus with the group standing off to the side muttering? I can't.

Here's a lie that needs to be refuted: Heaven hates people.

23 September 2014

Jesus Goes to the Lost

Luke 15

As wonderful as these stories are in Luke 15, they become more poignant when we remember the context. Jesus is again eating with the wrong people, while the right people murmur in disapproval at this well regarded teacher.

Time and time and time again in the Gospels we run into people in need. Time and time and time again in the Gospels we are told about ordinary people who are the outcasts of proper society.  Some are outcasts for legitimate reasons. They steal from their own countrymen to line their own pockets;  they have sex with other people's husbands, etc... Some are outcasts for health reasons. They have an infectious disease, possessed by violent demons, etc... Some are outcasts because they are seen to have no value. They can't see; they can't walk; they are poor, etc...

17 September 2014

Jesus Seeks and Saves the Lost

The Lost Sheep - Soord
Luke 15

It is not the healthy that need a doctor, but the sick...Matthew 9:12

Luke 15 is a beautiful chapter. Once again, Jesus is eating with the wrong people. Once again, Jesus is chastised by the right people. And, once again Jesus speaks the truth in love addressing the right people in close proximity to the wrong people.

But this time, he tells three stories articulating, to all who would listen, the relationship between heaven and earth, the attitudes of heaven and earth and why heaven is the earth's best hope and best ally.

He tells three stories about a lost sheep, a lost coin and lost children.  The first common thread of these stories? All three stories involve something that is lost.