Reflections

“Shaped” 5th March: Luke 9:1-27

Today’s Word: “Once when Jesus was praying alone, with only the disciples near him, he asked them, ‘Who do the crowds say that I am?’ They answered, ‘John the Baptist; but others, Elijah; and still others, that one of the ancient prophets has arisen.’ He said to them, ‘But who do you say that I am?’ Peter answered, ‘The Messiah of God’” (Luke 9.18-20).

This is not the first (and it won’t be the last) time that the central feature of Luke’s Gospel looms large; namely, the identity of Jesus.

“Response” Thursday 4th March: Luke 8:26-56

Today’s Word: “They were all weeping and wailing for her; but he said, ‘Do not weep; for she is not dead but sleeping.’  And they laughed at him, knowing that she was dead. But he took her by the hand and called out, ‘Child, get up!’” (Luke 8.52-54).

Fear, Incredulity and Laughter. Perhaps these three words sum up peoples’ response to Jesus

“Companions” 3rd March: Luke 8:1-25

Today’s Word:

“The twelve were with him, as well as some women who had been cured of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary, called Magdalene, from whom seven demons had gone out, and Joanna, the wife of Herod’s steward Chuza, and Susanna, and many others, who provided for them out of their resources.” (Luke 8.2-3).

When Luke introduces us to these three women “and many others” (3), we are given an insight into the kind of community Jesus is beginning to form.

“Drama” 2nd March: Luke 7:24-50

Today’s Word: “And all the people who heard this, including the tax-collectors, acknowledged the justice of God, because they had been baptized with John’s baptism. But by refusing to be baptized by him, the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves.” (Luke 7.29-30)

When he refers to how fickleness of his ‘generation’ (31), Jesus shows great awareness and understanding of the days in which he was living.

“Hearing” 1st March: Luke 7:1-23

Today’s Word:

“Go and tell John what you have seen and heard: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them. And blessed is anyone who takes no offence at me” (Luke 7.22-23).

This portion of Luke’s Gospel tells us a great deal about how the word about Jesus was getting around.

“A Cross for Snowflakes”

Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.’

He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, ‘If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.’             

Mark 8.31-38

This morning poor old Saint Peter comes across as what some of us nowadays call a bit of ‘snowflake’.

“Blessedness” 27th February 6:17-49

Today’s Word:

“Then he looked up at his disciples and said: ‘Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. ‘Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. ‘Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh” (Luke 6.20-21).

In Luke’s account of the teaching ministry of Jesus, this ‘Sermon on the Plain’ as it is often called, can sometimes seem like a poor relation to Matthew’s ‘Sermon on the Mount’.

“Depth” 25th February: Luke 5:1-39

Today’s Word: “When he had finished speaking, he said to Simon, ‘Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.” (Luke 5.4).

The fact that he had been fishing all night and caught nothing might not have been the only reason Peter objected to going out fishing again.

“Identity” 24th February: Luke 4:31-44

Today’s Word: “But he said to them, ‘I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose” (Luke 4.43).

The beginning of Jesus’s ministry, and the impact which he has, are set in the midst of conflict, controversy and no little amazement.