This Sunday we are back in Luke.
I am excited.
But it’s going to take a little bit of work. You may have noticed that as we’ve been studying this gospel already. I thought I should explain why.
I wonder if you have ever tried to have a relationship with someone from a different culture? Even if you haven’t, I think you can get the idea.
When you meet someone from a different culture and you try to have a conversation it can be very difficult to communicate.
Sometimes, first of all, because you speak different languages.
But there’s more to it than just that. Even if you speak the same language, there are still going to be a lot of things that are just very different.
For example, you might use a word that means one thing to you and then they use the same word, but they mean something totally different by it. (I remember in Africa, people saying I will be with you just now, and just now means right now to me, but they would say that and then leave, and that’s because just now to them, means sometime later.)
And, that’s just words.
That’s the easy part, because, there’s also ideas and ways of looking at the world, and some of those seem so natural, so intuitive, that you don’t even always know you have them. You don’t even know where to look for the breakdown in communication, because you don’t even realize you have such a different way of looking at the world.
That different way of looking at the world can even impact the questions you ask, your objections even, the things you think are hard.
I remember watching a movie called Facing the Giants with some of my friends. Maybe you know the movie, maybe you don’t. But, it’s a movie and the whole movie is based on the idea that this coach is having a really difficult life and yet my friends from a different culture didn’t get the movie at all, because they were watching, and they were like this man’s life is so easy. What’s he complaining about?
They understood the words, but the whole idea behind the movie just didn’t make any sense to them.
You see why I say cross-cultural communication is challenging.
It’s always hard to communicate.
But cross-culturally, there are some extra barriers, and so, when you try to communicate with someone from a different culture, you have to do something if you are going to understand what they are saying.
Now I know, obviously, sometimes people don’t.
One option is to ignore the differences, take what they say, and just use your own grid to interpret it. But, you are not going to get very far that way. Another option is similar. It’s to try to force that person to talk like you do and communicate the way you do. If they do, you listen. If they don’t, you move on.
A better option is to work hard at listening. One way you do that is by taking time to make sure you understand the way the other person is using words and the ideas they are concerned about and how they look at the world and the questions they have so you can really understand what they are trying to tell you.
The problem is, that can take a lot of work. And, a lot of time as well. And can be a little uncomfortable, honestly, which may be one reason studying the gospel of Luke is fairly challenging.
Reading the Bible is a kind of cross-cultural communication. Luke’s not an American writing to a bunch of other Americans in the twenty-first century. And so as we study the gospel of Luke, we don’t want to ignore those differences or force Luke to sound like we do and talk about things we think are interesting or important, but, instead, we want to work to make sure we are really hearing what Luke is saying is important.
And specifically of course, we are trying to listen to what Luke is telling us about Jesus.
Because we want to know Jesus.
That’s so important to remember. That’s why we are doing all this work.
As we work at really hearing what Luke is saying about Jesus, we are working at growing in our relationship with Jesus. We are coming to see Him for who He is and God uses that to increase our love for Jesus and to transform us.
So, yes. We are going to begin looking at Luke 4:14-44 this week.
And the truth is, benefiting from this passage is going to require some patience. It might take a little extra effort. But,if we come away with a better appreciation for Jesus, I guarantee it will all be worth it.
Come ready! Come expectant! Come praying!
I’ve included some things in the sermon brief document that I think will help you and your children benefit from the message this Sunday. Check them out. Print out what’s helpful. Or perhaps you can come up with a better plan yourself. For the younger children this Sunday, you can have them listen for the phrase, "Son of God” To encourage them, my wife Marda will have some treats afterward.
Week 1 of Six-Week Class: Enjoying God’s Word.
If you’re a person who wants to worship God daily by hearing from HIm, or if you’re a person who wants to help other people worship God daily by hearing from Him–and you should be both– please come next Sunday morning at 9am. Don’t miss the start of this class designed to help you engage with God’s Word!
Welcome and Call to Worship
Scripture Reading - Luke 4:14-30
Preaching of God’s Word: Luke 4:14-44 - A Different Kind of Son