Two years ago our little midweek group started looking at Luke’s gospel. Since January 2015 we have been on an amazing journey. We have grown so much in so many ways, leading to the planting of a new group, and real advances in faith. The Lord has taught us so much, and we really want to praise Him for all the grace and mercy He has shown.
So what have we learnt?
- The challenge of obedience. In Luke 6:46 Jesus asks: Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? We all struggled to work out how we would answer Jesus question for ourselves.
- The need for worship. Luke is full of people who worship, from Mary at the beginning to the disciples at the end. How full are our lives of worship and praise at all the Lord has done? Does the fact He has saved us thrill us and cause us to open our mouths in heartfelt thanksgiving?
- Insert your name here. We found time after time we could put ourselves in position of the characters who met Jesus, and found God once again speaking to us through them.
- Counting the cost. We love a comfortable kind of faith that makes no demands on us. But we saw throughout Luke’s gospel that Jesus does not give us the option. As He says in Luke 9:23:If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.
- We will get it wrong. Luke pulls no punches about the disciples. They frequently misunderstood Jesus, or missed the point. While Jesus was talking about His death at the Last Supper, they were arguing who was the greatest. If Jesus can use those kind of people, He can certainly use us.
- The theme of journey. We saw how most of Luke’s gospel, from 9:51 onwards, is structured as a journey. The Christian faith is not static, but a movement. and we need to be willing to journey with Jesus.
- It’s not just about God, it’s about Jesus. We reflected how the world is comfortable about us talking about God, and how easy it is as Christians to fit this agenda. But we are to talk about Jesus, no matter the offence we may cause. It is His good news we are called to proclaim, and in His name we are called to preach repentance and forgiveness of sins (Luke 24:47)
- Honesty. Luke’s gospel is about real people living real lives. There is no room for hypocrisy or pretence in the Kingdom of God. Indeed, Jesus’ harshest criticism is reserved for those who play religious games.
- Good news for the poor. Time after time Luke makes the point that the good news is not just for the educated, or the respectable, or those who have their lives sorted. Jesus’ concern was for those on the margins – so why does His church so often seem to focus on almost anyone apart from such people?
In 2017 the group will move on to the second volume of Luke’s writing, the Book of Acts. We are looking forward to how the Lord will teach us through this remarkable book. And we are looking forward to others joining us – that could even be you!
We start back on January 12th – put that date in your diary as the journey continues…