Studies in the Gospel of Luke

A Tale of Two Healings – Meditation of the Studies in Luke

A Tale of Two Healings – Meditation of the Studies in Luke

This is not just how Jesus is in this instance; it is how he is in all situations. He not only knows where we need physical healing, but also every emotional, psychological and spiritual wound and area of vulnerability we have experienced as a result of those situations, and he desires to bring healing to all of it. Sometimes the means by which he does so may seem to scrape at the wounds that run deepest, as with the bleeding woman who was called to make her situation known among the very people who would have rejected her; but the intention is never for our harm, rather for a more profound healing than we could ever imagine or hope for

More

Abundant Fruit – Meditation of the Studies in Luke

Abundant Fruit – Meditation of the Studies in Luke

We all know that underlying the parable is the message that the soil which represents our heart must be healthy in order for the Word of God to take root in our lives…but this small detail given by Luke challenges us to consider our own role it making it healthy. It is not sufficient we not have the scorching sun beating down on us—that is that we take away the trials and tribulations we face—nor even that we rid ourselves of the weeds of unnecessary concerns and attachments in this world. We must create space … through worship, study and prayer so that we can not only receive God’s word, but also allow it to take root and be nourished so that it can withstand these external challenges and bear abundant fruit in our lives.

More

Fullness of Faith – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Fullness of Faith – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

…faith is not about being certain that God will act in certain ways, though it may sometimes entail this. Nor is it primarily about the determination to persevere in hope in the face of trials, though this is how we are called to express our faith. Rather, faith is fundamentally about surrendering the whole of our lives in humility and awe at who God is, and in gratitude and adoration for all that he has done to reveal to us his unfailing love—at the cross, but also specifically in our lives. True faith is not just a determination of the mind, but also an attitude of the heart that orients itself in worship of the One from whose love we can never be separated (Rom 8:38-39), who works all things for the good of those who love him (Rom 8:28) and who is, indeed, just.

More

Detachment and Trust – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Detachment and Trust – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

It is only as we cling to these promises, and more importantly to the one in whom they find their “yes”, our Lord Jesus Christ, that we are able, in faith, to let go of the things of this world—whether it is material possessions, personal justice, or our idea of how our lives should end up, not because they don’t matter but because we trust that God is good and faithful, and because he is just.. Discipleship and obedience, particularly when it comes to teachings as challenging as these, are not ultimately about getting things right; they are about surrendering “to the Love that makes man fully alive” (Robert Barron).

More

Called to Companionship – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Called to Companionship – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

The truth is, we will all fail to obey Christ fully and fail to love others in the ways in which we are called to love them—sometimes in minor ways, other times epically. But at the end of the day, it is neither our successes nor our failures that determine our witness to Christ and his unfailing love. It is our relationship with him, for we cannot share whom we ourselves don’t know, nor can we give what we ourselves don’t have. To this end, it is striking that there is no apparent role given to the apostles at this point to distinguish them from the other disciples. They are simply to be “with” him, for the whole foundation of their ministry rests on this companionship: on identifying with and being shaped in relationship to Jesus’ life and mission.

More

The Heart of the Law – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

The Heart of the Law – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Jesus’ question to the Pharisees and Scribes serves not only as a challenge to those present, but also to us who, likewise, are called to know and reflect the heart of God to one another and in the world around us. Notice that he leaves no room for a middle ground: one either does good or does harm; one either saves a life or destroys it—and this in reference to a man whose condition was not life-threatening or even necessarily urgent. The uncomfortable truth with which we are confronted in this is that, in the face of suffering and human need, there is no neutral position. We either do good or we do harm; we either save a life or we destroy it—and the decision we make in this matter is the ultimate reflection of whether or not we have understood the heart of God’s law and are obedient to it.

More

Put Out Into the Deep! – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Put Out Into the Deep! – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

This is what he wants for all of his disciples, to draw us into complete reliance on and trust in him. He wants for us to put out into the deep, to leave everything behind and surrender our whole lives to him—our hopes, our dreams, our wounds and weariness, all of it—in order that give all of himself to us. And in order to do that, he very often has to poke and prod at precisely those areas where we are most wounded, most weary. But he does not do so out of callousness; he does so out of love, so that he might pour his unfailing love into those areas of our lives and we might experience his abundant life.

More

A Ministry of Healing and Redemption – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

A Ministry of Healing and Redemption – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

…the same ministry of healing, liberation and redemption to which Our Lord was called as Messiah and Son of God, is the same ministry to which we all are called as sons and daughters of God, a ministry that cares deeply and works endlessly not just for the spiritual well-being of the world around us, but also for its physical and emotional, because this is the heart of God and, as Joel Green reminds us progeny are meant to exhibit the qualities of their parents.

More

Testing or Trusting? – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Testing or Trusting? – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

…it is important to note that this type of testing is not at all the same thing as struggling to trust in God’s goodness and faithfulness in the midst of darkness or difficulty. The Bible (particularly the psalms) is full of examples of faithful people crying out to the Lord as they try to reconcile their pain or suffering with what they’ve been told about God’s character…The difference is that, in doing so, they do not judge him a liar or unfaithful, though they may struggle with fears that this is true at times; rather they struggle to hold on, reminding themselves of his promises and calling to mind his past acts of faithfulness in their lives so that these might be a buoy of hope in the midst of the storm. Far from a lack of faith or testing to God, they ultimately witness to a depth of faith that is both exemplary and beautiful.

More

Worship and Service – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

Worship and Service – Meditation of the Studies in the Gospel of Luke

This is what is at stake for Jesus in the wilderness, and indeed for all of us in our lives. Worship is not fundamentally about the postures we strike, the songs we sing, or the words we pronounce (though all of these are vitally important to worship); it is about answering with the whole of our lives the question, “Whom do you serve?”; and our answer to that question will ultimately be evident in the way we treat others, the way we treat our bodies, the way we perform our duties and responsibilities, indeed in every detail great and small that makes up our lives, for in the words of Ravi Zacharias, “Worship is coextensive with all of life”.

More