The Gospel According to Luke
Though Jesus’ own disciples were highly skeptical that he actually rose from the dead, they were persuaded when they saw him and when he proved from the Scriptures what they should have already seen and believed. This Sunday we will read about what is arguably the most important event in history: the resurrection. We’ll discover some powerful implications for us in our daily lives, such as addressing our doubts and our source for truth.
This week we come to one of the most confounding scenes in the gospel narrative, Jesus’s trial before the Jewish Council, Pilate, Herod, and the Crowds. We see Jesus rightly identified as The Son of God, the Messiah, the King of the universe. We see him falsely accused of crimes he did not commit. We see him acquitted by both Jewish and Roman political authorities. But we see him taken away by the crowd to be murdered. In all this we get a glimpse into our own sinful hearts, and marvel at Jesus’s mission to save the world.
Today’s passage contains the story of how three individuals responded to temptation. One response was catastrophic (Judas), one grievously disloyal (Peter), and one heroic (Jesus). We’ll look at Jesus’ heroic triumph over temptation and seek to learn how we can prepare ourselves to endure temptation. For there will likely be times when Satan will demand to sift us like wheat.
SERMON POWERPOINT Sunday, July 31, 2022 Brad Barrett Luke 22:1-38 The Betrayal of the Son The setting from the text of Scriptures this morning is just hours before Jesus is crucified. Brutally murdered. A more unjust treatment the world has never seen. But it’s no surprise, for Jesus had previously told the disciples that this day was coming. Luke 9:22 ESV “The Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes,…
In his account of Jesus’s entry to Jerusalem to finish his earthly mission, Luke focuses his narrative on Jesus’s repudiation of the injustice, corruption, and error in the temple service and the elite religious leaders. Finishing his teachings to his disciples, Jesus overhears a comment about the magnificence of the temple, which he responds to by prophesying the destruction of the temple. This prompts a question from his disciples: “When will this happen? What signs should we look for to prepare?” Jesus gives four non-signs, things that are going to happen but do not signal the destruction he’s referring to, and instead warns them: “You’ll know it when you see it. Be ready at all times.” This call to readiness is as relevant for us today as it was for them then, and for all believers throughout history.
With brilliance and tact, Jesus confounded His opponents as they did their best to find a way to entrap Him. For the sake of His followers and potential followers, Jesus outmaneuvered them, turning the tables to expose their opposition to God and His ways. Following Jesus’ example, it’s important that we, the church, hone our responses to today’s critics and opponents so that followers and potential followers of Jesus are drawn to Jesus and strengthened in faith.
Have you ever wondered, “What is God’s will for me?” Just one week before he is crucified and resurrected, Jesus tells his followers in a parable what his will for them is after he ascends into heaven. He says, “Engage in my business until I come back,” and he promises great reward to all who do. This Sunday’s passage will look at this parable plus some other words from Jesus that may surprise us, pleasantly so.
Though few of us like to admit that we are weak and even lost, such an admission is a beautiful place to find intimacy, strength, and help from the God of all power and mercy. This Sunday we will look at two stories that will powerfully inspire us to humbly seek after our merciful Savior.
The Pharisees ask Jesus about the timing of the arrival of God’s Kingdom on earth that He has been talking about. Jesus response to this question in the gospels is always the same: No one can know the timing, but it will happen suddenly, without warning, that is, without further warning than the one he continually gives: be ready today. In our eating, drinking, getting married, buying, selling, planting, building, sleeping, and milling, are we also praying: “Lord let your kingdom come!”
Rich Man and Lazarus, Servants and Lepers
This week, we’ll look at a perplexing parable about a master, a manager, and money. The details are confusing to our modern understanding of business, but Jesus’s message is clear nonetheless. The problem that Jesus was pointing out was that we, like the disciples and the Pharisees, don’t know what money is really for, and we forget who it really belongs to. When we see how Jesus uses this parable to instruct the disciples and rebuke the Pharisees, we’ll gain great insight into God’s economics. How does he want us to use “our” money?
After Jesus’s crucifixion and burial, even the apostles were devastated and confused, going only by what they could see. Their entire world was crashing around them, or so they thought. When Jesus finally does show up on that first Easter morning, the surprising ways he reveals himself to his despairing flock can teach us much about what we need from him today.
Jesus was frequently accused of being friends with the worst sinners in society. The outcasts. The untouchables. And the accusations were true. So he opens wide the heart of God in an astonishing trio of parables, including his best known one, the Prodigal Son. This Sunday from Luke 15 we will seek to have hearts full of gratitude, for God has diligently and actively sought us out in the gospel story. And we will seek to have great joy, for God joyfully loves and welcomes us.
The way of a disciple of Jesus—the life and heart of a disciple—is not intuitive due to our sinful tendencies and the world’s influences, but it is beautiful and glorious. This Sunday in our sermon we will examine Jesus’ surprising words as he calls us to be true disciples.
What is the purpose of the Sabbath? In Luke 13-14, Jesus confronts the Pharisees’ answer to this question and will similarly challenge our preconceived notions about how God goes about his work and what his kingdom work looks like in this world.
In our passage this week, Jesus tells us to think forward to judgement day, The Day of The Lord, The Return of Christ, and teaches us something remarkable: Christians never need to fear death, because they never die. He confronts us with a question: Are you ready for that judgement day? Or are you living like it’s not coming?
The natural way to look at life is from a short-term, temporary view, and when this is connected to the topic of money, two outcomes result: greed and worry. In this passage from Luke 12, Jesus calls us to an eternal and heavenly-minded view that leads to something glorious: a contented and peace-filled life that centers its trust in our great God and Father.
In this week’s sermon, we look at a scene in which a question about washing up before a meal provokes a seemingly very harsh response from Jesus. But you stack up everything Luke has recorded the Pharisees and Lawyers saying so far in the gospel account, the response makes much more sense. Why does Jesus respond this way to the Pharisees? Because of the way they have been responding to the Messiah, and treating God’s children. We’ll look at ways we can be just like the Pharisees and Lawyers, and more importantly, we’ll look at our great savior who offers mercy, healing, forgiveness, and love.
From our passage, we will learn of the simplicity and beauty of following Jesus: whoever hears and obeys him will have God’s rich blessings upon us. And there is no middle ground, for we are either for him or against him.
Following Jesus often involves boldness. Mary makes the bold choice to sit at Jesus’ feet and pursue Him rather than bend to cultural and family pressures. And Jesus teaches us to be bold and persistent in prayer. Followers of Jesus should sometimes keep pressing in prayer, even when the initial answer seems to be “no.”
In our sermon text this Sunday we will read the parable of the Good Samaritan, and the purpose and meaning behind the story may surprise us. However, an application from the story may not surprise us: that God would empower us through the gospel to show Good Samaritan type of compassion, even to someone who may not like us. How can we prepare ourselves in the Spirit for opportunities—expected or unexpected—to show life-giving compassion?