Congratulations! You’ve done it. You have walked through the Gospel of Luke with me over the past few weeks. As a follower of Jesus, it is Jesus words that we build our life on — Scripture! You are building your life!
Next week, we’ll start a new study, but if you want to keep moving on your own take a look at the story of Joseph. Joseph is a major character at the end of the book of Genesis, and the story of Joseph and his brothers is a little messy and complicated. Here is the first of those posts: Joseph: A Story of Redemption.
If you are brand new to the Bible, start here: 5 Steps to Understand the Bible.
In case you missed any of the earlier posts on Luke, you can find them here:
Luke 22 – In control when it’s out of YOUR control.
Drama, intrigue, betrayal – this chapter has it all. It drips with suspense beginning with the betrayal of Jesus by one of his closest followers, and ending with denial by one of his three closest friends. In between is a deep sense of dread.
This isn’t going to end well.
The Gospel of Luke does a magnificent job of giving us a sense of what it must have felt like that evening. Though we know the disciples didn’t understand what was going to happen, they could sense the tension in the air. Jesus was a dead man walking, he knew it, and he fought the emotions attached to his knowledge.
Everyone was on edge – friends, enemies and bystanders, yet in the middle of all this fear and confusion, and inside his own pain, Jesus was in control. He led the supper with purpose and intent. He spoke with authority in the garden to those who came to arrest him. He never lost control while under intense scrutiny at trial.
You may not be in a life or death situation, but in the midst of your moments of fear, pain, confusion you too can have control. Things may still not go your way – they didn’t go the way of Jesus – but your purpose can remain the same. It requires you to be in connection with Jesus and filled with the Holy Spirit. It means being close to him. When you are, you can be like him.
Luke 23 – There until the end.
How fickle people can be. One moment crowds are lining up to welcome Jesus into Jerusalem, shouting praises to God, dancing and singing in the streets (Luke 19). A few days later they are screaming for him to be crucified.
For Jesus, this must have been just another in a long line of shots to his heart. He knew it was coming. He told his disciples he would be betrayed, led to trial and killed. He knew, but it still stings to hear your name yelled in anger.
Yet at the same time, there were a few voices that went against the flow in this chapter of the Gospel of Luke. There was Pilate, the women who followed him to the cross, a criminal by his side, and a few close friends who were there until the end. These were more than just dissenting voices; they were fuel for Jesus to keep taking steps forward (literally and figuratively).
There will be moments in your life when it feels like the crowds are against you. They are yelling at the top of their lungs for your demise. It will be disheartening and painful. You won’t understand why they’ve turned on you…and so quickly. I could even be the voices in your own head.
In those moments, stop and look around. You’ll find people who are with you. They may not be able to stop the pain, but they will walk with you through the hurt, betrayal and disappointment.
Just as importantly, you can be the person who walks through betrayal with a friend or family member. You can be the loyal one who continues to believe in them. The one who will stay until the end.
Luke 24 – The most amazing thing!
The most amazing thing about this chapter in the Gospel of Luke is that seeing an angel is not the most amazing thing in the chapter. This doesn’t happen often in life or scripture, but the story of the women seeing angels is secondary.
The story is, of course, Jesus risen from the dead. Everyone saw him dead on a cross, laid in a grave, and a stone rolled across the entrance. But now he is alive. When Jesus appears to the disciples in Jerusalem, he proves he’s not a ghost and then teaches them. But he does one more thing – often overlooked.
“Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures.”Luke 24:45 NLT
With his resurrection, Jesus work is complete on earth. Now nothing is hidden, so he opens up all of scripture for his followers to understand. Those who believe he is the Messiah and put their trust in him are given this understanding. Things that never made sense about God are now so obvious.
Have you had that experience? Are the things of God clear and understandable for you. Do you see? If not, pray God would open your eyes to His truth found in scripture. It’s one of the blessings of following Jesus.