Luke and The Lost
Most of us, most of the time feel left out–misfits. We don’t belong. Other seem to be so confident, so sure of themselves, “insiders” who know the ropes, old hands in a club from which we are excluded.
One of the ways we have of responding to this is to form our own club or join one that will have us. Here is at least one place where we are “in” and the others”out”. The clubs range from informal to formal in gatherings that are variously political, social, cultural, and economic. But the on thing they have in common is the principle of exclusion. Identity or worth is achieved by excluding all but the chosen. The terrible price we pay for keeping all those other people out so that we can savor the sweetness of being insiders is a reduction of reality, a shrinkage of life.
Nowhere is this price more terrible than when it is paid in the cause of religion. But religion has a long history of doing just hat, of reducing the huge mysteries of God to the respectability of club rules, of shrinking the vast human community to a “membership.” But with God there are no outsiders.
Luke is a most vigorous champion of the outsider. An outsider himself, the only Gentile in an all-Jewish cast of New Testament writer, he shows how Jesus includes those who typically were treated as outsiders by the religious establishment of the day: women, common laborers (sheepherders), the racially different (Samaritans), the poor. He will not countenance religion as a club.
As Luke tells the story, all of us who have found ourselves on the outside looking in on life with no hope of gaining entrance (and who of us hasn’t felt it?) now find the doors wide open, found and welcomed by God in Jesus. (Intro to Luke, Eugene Peterson)
So, Luke is yet another perspective of God’s Story of redemption. Jesus came to earth to seek and to save the lost. The Lost are highlighted in this gospel. The lost are found. No one is left out. All are welcome to come to Jesus. All are welcome to live abundantly with Him. ALL are welcome. You are welcome. I am welcome. We are no longer lost and confused about club rules, but found because of God’s grace through the blood of Jesus shed for us.
Dear Heavenly Father,
Thank you for Your Word that reminds us of our once lost and now found, belonging to You. To You be all glory, honor and praise for what You have done, are doing and will do in our lives. May we gain insight and understanding as we read each passage of what You gave Luke to share. May our love for you grow. May we realize how much You love us. May our love for others grow. In Jesus Name, Amen