Becoming Christ through the Gospel of Luke
Our challenge to read Luke this spring is well on its way. We have completed the first six chapters and have come to understand Jesus as both Son of Joseph and Son of God. What this knowledge has done for us is to make us keenly aware of our own humanity and divinity. Jesus came as a man to show us how to live; how to love; and, how to be an extension of God in the world.
Through the baptism story we have learned to recognize God’s voice claiming us as God’s children and to respond to God’s call by pulling away from our life and spending time in prayer. We are to become so convinced by God’s love for us that we are willing to be different. We are willing to walk away from the standards this world would use to call us, and our lives, wonderful to be defined by our call to live by the standards of Christ. The story of Jesus’ temptation reminds us of the continual challenge to let go of our identity created by God and allow others (be them good or evil) to define us, causing us to waver in our confidence.
As Jesus descends the mountain and begins his ministry, we become acutely aware of the skepticism and myopic view of the people who were closest to Jesus. They should have been first on board but, as we read, they wanted to throw him off the cliff! What does this mean to us as we prioritize our lives around God?
So how does Jesus stay focused? How does he keep his resolve? He clings to his anointing by God.
The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,
because the Lord has anointed me.
He has sent me to preach good news to the poor,
to proclaim release to the prisoners
and recovery of sight to the blind,
to liberate the oppressed,
and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. (Luke 4:16-19)
He knows he has been anointed because he has a job to do. We too have jobs to do for God but the key to keeping our resolve is to claim our job. What we are called to do in this world is our divine purpose. What good news are you bringing? When is your heart confident that you are being Christ? What are the dreams you have for the world? Are you working to make them a reality?
God is alive and well through Christ’s church today. We just have to step fully into our lives as God’s representatives in the world of 2015 with all its problems, pain and hope. I look forward to continuing to grow with you as we read Luke’s gospel together. We will all be better disciples for it but the best news is the world will be better for it as well!