Sunday Evening: Outsiders! The Gospel for the skeptic, the outcast, the doubter (Luke)
NEW SERIES: Outsiders!
Gospel for the skeptic, the outcast, the doubter (Luke)
The gospel of Luke sets out for us - ‘Who’ Jesus is and offers it’s challenge to serve the good news and encourage active faith. Some themes in Luke are the Holy Spirit, meals, prayer and worship. Salvation is also a key theme. Luke portrays salvation as a present reality for all people. The coming of God’s kingdom enable people to have a better quality of life now by transforming human society and defeating other powers that attempt to control human lives and hearts.
However, this Gospel is especially concerned to witness to Jesus Christ for the marginalised, the ‘least of these’. It is this particular emphasis we shall focus upon as it is importantly part of what is a great reversal (Luke 13).
Joel Green helps us do this with the term ‘salvation’ in Luke’s Gospel. He says;
“Luke uses the language of salvation more than any other New Testament writer, but employs that language in co-texts whose effect is to give salvation broad meaning. Salvation is, preeminently, status reversal, and this includes not only the raising up of ‘lowly’ persons whom Jesus encounters in the Gospel, but also the people of Israel as a people, promised liberation from the oppressive hand of Rome. Salvation is also the coming of the kingdom of God, then, the coming of God’s reign of justice, to deconstruct the worldly systems and values at odds with the purpose of God. Salvation also entails membership in the new community God is drawing together around Jesus, a community into which all – especially the previously excluded for reasons of sin, and its corollary, despised status – are invited to participate in the blessings of the kingdom as well as to share in its service.” Joel B. Green, The Theology of the Gospel of Luke, pg. 94
Our hope in reading of Luke as Scripture is that it will help ‘to reshape how we comprehend our lives and identify our greatest needs. …who we are and what we might become, so that we come to share its assessment of our situation, encounter its promise of restoration, and hear its challenge to serve God’s good news.’