Talmidim is the Hebrew word for disciples. This podcast is designed as a journey through a story. We'll study the gospel of Luke together but it's not about information. We'll talk about theology but it's not about indoctrination. This journey is about transformation. It's an invitation to watch what Jesus does, hear what he teaches, and be inspired by who he loves and how he loves. In a world of much heartache, uncertainty, and tension I pray this journey can invite you into hope. Not by pointing you to an other-worldly spirituality but by looking at what Jesus offers here and near.
Before meeting Jesus the first disciples never dared to venture to the "other side" of the Sea of Galilee. This is a Jesus who not only loves those on the margins but invites the marginalized to play a vital role in his story. If you find yourself on the margins, this message is for you. If you need courage to go with Jesus to the margins, you just might find it here.
Have you ever noticed what seems to impress Jesus most? Faith. Faith that transcends logic or circumstances. Luke 7 offers us an incredible glimpse of faith from 4 very different perspectives. A Roman centurion. A widow. John the Baptist from his jail cell. And a woman who is simply described as having lived a "sinful life." What do they all have in common? Amazing faith.
For this "flash forward" bonus episode I have written a short fictional monologue to help us enter the story of Jesus from what might strangely feel like both a very different perspective and yet a very familiar one. It is the story of Barabbas. In a continued season of challenge, may you discover hope through a man we know very little about who stood on trial next to Jesus. As you listen, it will be helpful to know that the Hebrew word “bar” means son and “abba” means father. Maybe on a Sunday sunrise Barabbas (son of a father) can help us discover bar Abba (Son of Father God) as the Son rises.
The kingdom ethic that Jesus offers in Luke 6 turns the religious order upside down. What kind of ethic would ask us to love our enemies? To lend to those who can't repay us? To see what we think on the surface is a blessing as actually being a potential "woe." This ethic was shocking then. It is equally shocking today. What would happen if followers of Jesus actually embraced it? Maybe this upside down ethic would help turn the world right-side up.
The Spirit leads Jesus into the wilderness where he overcomes temptation. A deeper contextual look just might surprise us when we see what and how Jesus is resisting. Jesus then travels to Nazareth where he pulls back the veil on his Messiahship by declaring Jubilee in the synagogue. It's good news for ALL! But the kind of good news Jesus reveals nearly gets him thrown over a cliff by those who can't comprehend its radical inclusivity.