Day 272 – Thru the Bible
Today we continue in Luke. Here is the video for the second part of Luke.
Video – Read Scripture: Luke 10-24
How does this video help you understand the rest of Luke?
Luke 10 – Throughout the New Testament, the gospel is described with a variety of terms and concepts. Here it is described as inheriting eternal life rather than the more typical language of the “kingdom of God,” as often found in the Synoptic Gospels. “Eternal life” is the way that the Gospel of John typically speaks, but a passage like this one shows that “entering the kingdom” and “inheriting eternal life” are overlapping ways of understanding the gospel (see Luke 18:18–25 and Mark 10:17–31, where the terms are interchangeable).
Jesus’ response to the lawyer’s question is summed up in verse 27 by the first and second greatest commandments (Matthew 22:37), both of which are matters of the heart—that is, what we most truly love and value. Jesus uses this story of the “good Samaritan” to reveal this lawyer’s defective heart. He claims to love God and others, but rather than embracing the gospel of Jesus he is “desiring to justify himself.”
The command to go and do likewise—that is, show mercy to others—is not an “entrance requirement” for eternal life. Rather, it is a call to follow Jesus’ way of loving God and others from the heart. Indeed, it is simply a life mindful of the way we have been loved, instead of living out of self-justification.
The short story in verses 38-42 reveals the ever-present temptation, even among Believers, of substituting religion for the gospel. We could define religion as human activity pursued in an attempt to please God. The gospel, however, is the message of God’s gracious love toward us and the invitation to orient our lives toward Him. Rather than focusing on doing—even doing good things such as serving—the one thing that is “necessary” and the “good portion” is to sit at the Lord’s feet and listen to Him. We can in fact be “distracted with much serving.” Before the gospel is a call to doing it is an invitation to the presence of the Lord. To follow Jesus as a disciple means to be with Him and listen to Him. This abiding with and depending on the Lord alone enables us to take up our cross daily and follow Him (9:23).
Luke 11 – This passage contains shorter versions of several of the teachings found in the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7). These verses give instruction in how to pray, providing both a model prayer (verses 2–4) and the reason for our confidence in praying (verses 5–13). Jesus’ model prayer emphasizes simplicity in approaching God as our loving and providing Father. This is buttressed by a series of encouraging images of God’s heart toward us. If we ask and seek and knock we will receive gifts from our Father, based not on our goodness or effort but on His nature as a loving Father.
This revelation of who God is for us in Jesus is a warm invitation to cast our cares on Him (1 Peter 5:7), seeking Him with confidence, not fear (Hebrews 4:16). The God-honoring response to this revelation is worship and rejoicing in His gift.
The gospel is the message of blessedness. This is not a statement about success or physical well-being, though these are also blessings from God. Rather, to be blessed means to have peace with God through Jesus and peace within ourselves as well (1:79; 2:14; John 14:27; Romans 5:1; Ephesians 2:17).
In a way consistent with the whole Bible’s message (see Psalm 1), Jesus defines true blessedness as hearing and keeping the Word of God. This definition involves a “gospel ordering” that cannot be reversed: the gospel is not a call to perform in order to get God’s favor; rather, it is a call first to hear—to receive the message of God’s kindness and love—and then to be transformed by the Spirit’s work. From this basis, and constantly buoyed by grace, we follow after Jesus in keeping the Word: that is, we persevere in the faith.
One of the main reasons Jesus sometimes offended people in His own day (6:11; 11:45), even as He does today, is that He constantly pressed His gospel message to the level of the heart. God sees the heart of all humans and is not impressed with mere outward religion. There are good deeds and actions inspired by faith (v. 42; Ephesians 2:10), but we very easily and subtly substitute religious activities and duties for what God sees and values—a heart-orientation toward Him (the greatest commandment; Matthew 22:37–38) and from this, love toward others (the second greatest commandment; Matthew 22:39).
Jesus points out three ways in which His gospel reveals our brokenness and sin—ways in which we may be no different than the Pharisees: having an outward appearance of cleanness but being full of greed on the inside (v. 39); sacrificing a portion of our possessions while neglecting justice for others and love for God (v. 42); and doing good out of a love for the honor that it brings us (v. 43).
Jesus’ teaching not only points out these deficiencies of our hearts. It also invites us through union with Jesus to die to such double-living and to live by the Spirit in the gospel way of wholeness, being transformed not just on the outside but on the inside as well (Matthew 5:48; Romans 12:1–2; Colossians 3:1–10). Indeed, to be transformed internally is the only way to be truly transformed externally.
How has God transformed you on the inside? Where do you see its effects on the outside of you?
What other thoughts or questions does today’s video and reading bring up?
Some of these notes are from the ESV Gospel Transformation Bible study notes. We highly recommend this study Bible.
Videos produced by www.TheGospelProject.com.
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