Luke–From Fear to Praise
For those reading through the New Testament together, how is it going? What are you learning/re-learning by going through the book of Luke? How are you being changed?
I have made it through the first 8 chapters of Luke. I realize that I have missed out on a lot of Luke’s passages before. We dwell a lot of the popular stories of Luke such as the stories of Jesus’ birth, Jesus as a boy in the temple, John the Baptist, the temptation in the wilderness, and the healings. As I have begun reading through Luke again, I am paying attention to some of the stories between the major events.
For example, after Jesus was presented in the temple we hear about Simeon. Simeon was holding onto his life until he met the Messiah. The spirit led him to the temple where the child Jesus was brought and then offers this praise to God:
“Master, now you are dismissing your servant in peace, according to your word;
for my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples,
a light for revelation to the Gentiles and for glory to your people Israel.”
Somehow the church doesn’t pay as much attention to Simeon and this major affirmation of the life of Jesus as the one sent by God.
Also, I have been struck by how many times Luke specifically refers to people being afraid after one of Jesus’ healings or other miracles. I have already noticed three specific occasions where the people were full of fear:
- Luke 7:11-16–After Jesus brought a widow’s only son back to life: “Fear seized all of them…”
- Luke 8:22-25–After the disciples wake Jesus because of a huge storm: “They were afraid and amazed…”
- Luke 8:34-39–After Jesus had ordered the unclean spirit, named Legion out of the Gerasene man and ordered the demons into the swine: “And they were afraid.”
I am wondering what it means for Jesus to heal someone or calm a storm after he was asked to help and then they were frightened. What does it mean that people came asking for help, received the help, and then became afraid? What were they afraid of?
But notice what happens after the people or disciples were afraid:
- Luke 7:16-17–“Fear seized all of them; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has risen among us!” and “God has looked favorably on his people!” This word about him spread throughout Judea and all the surrounding country.”
- Luke 8:25–“They were afraid and amazed, and said to one another, “who then is this, that he commands even the winds and the water, and they obey him?”
- Luke 8:35-39–“Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them; for they were seized with great fear. The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him, but Jesus sent him away, saying “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him.”
Notice Luke’s pattern:
- There is a healing or miracle.
- There is fear.
- People are drawn closer to God. People begin praising God or learning more about Jesus or proclaiming what God has done for them.
I have not noticed how much fear that Jesus’ ministry created before. I think that fear is significant in the larger scheme of things…especially as we are quickly approaching Holy Week and begin to question why Jesus was sent to the cross. I am also struck at how the fear within the people leads them to God. And that is true for me…when I am the most scared, I call out to God.
What things in life bring you fear? What frightens you? How does that fear bring you closer to God? Does your fear lead you to praise the Holy One? Luke gives us a lot to think about!
If You Missed Sunday’s Sermon…
Read or listen to Mission: What if We are Just Fixing Fish?
This Week at Hood
Tuesday, March 13th–serve at the DUMA food pantry; 9:00am-2:00pm
Wednesday, March 14th, 3:30 pm–Prayer & Inspiration
Wednesday, March 14th, 6:00 pm — Love Wins: Children’s Mission Projects; Backpack Buddies
Wednesday, March 14th, 6:00 pm– Choir
Wednesday, March 14th, 6:00 pm– “young-ish” Small group
Thursday, March 15th, 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm – Pastor Jason at The Cellar for Drop-In Coffee & Conversation (108 N Wilson St)
Sunday, March 18th, 11:00 am – Worship
**Help bring life to our sanctuary for Easter with Easter lilies. The cost of each lily is $7.00. Please email or contact the church office if you would like to place a lily in honor or memory of someone.
Monday, March 19th, 7:00pm– DWM (working) meeting in Fellowship Hall
Saturday, March 24th–Rise Against Hunger; childcare or packing food bags
Sunday, March 25th–Fellowship Lunch/Fundraiser: Baked Potato Bar
June 13, 2019
June 11, 2019
May 14, 2019