A Blog in support of the “Welcome to Luke’s House Bible Study” providing weekly details, updates, and comments from participants in an effort to connect people to Luke’s lively Gospel and to connect people whether they attend the class in person or virtually.
Welcome to Luke’s House is a spirited and interactive Bible Study during which the leaders guide discussion of Scripture passages from the amazing account of Luke as we look at what the texts meant then and what they mean for us now. The Scripture passages and discussion influence the content for the worship service the following week.
Scripture passage for Sunday, February 3rd: Luke 5:1-11
Schedule: 9-9:15 am Recap; 9:15-9:50, Deep dive into the Scripture
Lead Teacher this Week: Mike Magee; John Hilley (support)
Teaser for the Week:
This Sunday we opened the pages to one of the most brilliant writings in early Christianity. Luke tells us that he had had a chance to stand back from the extraordinary events that had been going on, to talk to the people involved, to read some earlier writings, and to make his own quite full version. Luke was an educated and cultured man, the first real historian to write about Jesus. His book places Jesus not only at the heart of the Jewish world of the first century, but at the heart of the Roman world into which the Christian gospel exploded and which it would go out through Asia.
Since the title of the study is “Welcome to Luke’s House”, let’s play with the image of house. Each of us live in different styles of houses and in different locations. Some of us like to live out in the country, removed from others, surrounded by land. Others are more urban dwellers. Luke is one of 4 gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke, John. If we were to think of each of these gospels as houses, they would be very different in terms of type and location. I like to think that Matthew would live in an old established neighborhood. Neighbors would be the offspring of ancestors who settled the area. It might be an historical house. History and genealogy is very important to Matthew. John, who wrote the Gospel of John, I imagine would live downtown, not far from the university. He is a lover of words. He wants to be near the cultural hub. Matthew and John, they live more in the center of things, but not Luke. He’s off the beaten path, way out on the edge of town. It’s a simple place. You may mistake it for a family farm, like the ones that used to dot the American landscape. Hay is baled to feed the animals. There are sheep grazing nearby. There’s a real manger out back. It’s not nostalgia. It’s not a sweet part of the story as we tend to consider it to be when we watched the child re-enact the Christmas story. There are all kinds of people there and we are going to learn about them. Luke’s house is filled with a whole lot of people, especially people whom the world has not made room for. They have all come to Luke’s house to hold this baby — because this baby belongs to them and, in inexplicable fashion, assures them that they belong to God. So, as God’s children, they ALL belong in God’s world. The Gospel for EVERYONE is going to be a big theme for Luke that we will want to keep in mind. (John)
Now this baby has grown up and the text for this Sunday is the time when Jesus, now as a young man, returns to his hometown to speak and teach in the Temple.
Fred Craddock: says, “For Luke, the tension that erupts here and will erupt again...is not between Jesus and Judaism, or between synagogue and church, it is between Judaism and its own Scripture.” The covenant of God’s grace toward all people expressed to Abraham, Jonah’s embodiment of the capacity in all of us to be offended by God’s Grace to those of whom we do not approve, and that Boaz welcomed Ruth the Moabites, who became the ancestor of David and Jesus, give further examples of the largeness of God’s Grace. But this is not a crowd pleaser. Notice why Jesus leaves Nazareth. “He does not go elsewhere because he is rejected, he is rejected because he goes elsewhere.”
We enjoyed the discussion around verse 22: “All spoke well of him and were amazed at the gracious words that came from his mouth.” We were interested in the word Thaumazo. In the Greek, it has two meanings, both the “neutral” “extraordinarily impressed,” and the more negative “extraordinarily disturbed.” This word is key. It marks the moment of their consternation as even before he talks about the prophets Elisha or Elijah. (Talking about Elisha and Elijah in this context likely upset the hearers because both of the stories Jesus tells about them involve outsiders, non-Jews. He identifies where their own scripture says they should be, and by saying this scripture is fulfilled in their presence, perhaps he is understood by the Nazarites as saying that he himself is going to be the agent of God who upsets their comfortable status quo. A double disturbance: Judaism is not where it needs to be (grace is for Gentiles also), and Jesus has given them a point upon which to focus their discomfort, himself. (Mike)
What is the “so what?” of this passage.
We introduced the notion of Luke’s House. On our first day of the study, we read of Hometown Hero Jesus going home and saying something that disturbed those who thought they knew him enough to the point where they wanted to throw him off a cliff. Personally, we know of the experience of being misunderstood and confined by those who think they know us. Those who thought they knew Jesus best simply cannot accept his claim that the gifts of God’s grace are not bestowed on favors of who you know, nationality, loyalty, tribe or hometown connections. The gifts of God’s grace are for everyone. We have preconceptions of who Jesus is. Jesus will not be confined by our preconceptions. That’s hard news. But it is good news.