Luke – Wide Open Doors!
It is no wonder people of this world are confused. They were confused before Jesus came down from heaven. People were confused as Jesus walked the earth, teaching people about God and His Kingdom, His ways, His love, and His Truth. Why? Because it was the opposite of what was being taught and lived.
People are still confused today. A recent nationwide survey completed by the Barna Research Group determined that only 4 percent of Americans had a “biblical” worldview. When George Barna, who has researched cultural trends and the Christian Church since 1984, looked at the “born- again” believers in America, the results were a dismal 9 percent.
Barna’s survey also connected an individual’s worldview with his or her moral beliefs and actions. Barna says, “Although most people own a Bible and know some of its content, our research found that most Americans have little idea how to integrate core biblical principles to form a unified and meaningful response to the challenges and opportunities of life.”
What is a worldview?
A worldview is the framework from which we view reality and make sense of life and the world. “It’s any ideology, philosophy, theology, movement or religion that provides an overarching approach to understanding God, the world and man’s relations to God and the world,” says David Noebel, author of Understanding the Times.
For example, a 2-year-old believes he’s the center of his world, a secular humanist believes that the material world is all that exists, and a Buddhist believes he can be liberated from suffering by self-purification.
Someone with a biblical worldview believes his primary reason for existence is to know, love and serve God.
Worldview versus Biblical Worldview
The world tells us daily that we are to live life on our own power, having it all, doing it all our way. We are the master of our destiny. We are to rise up and battle the world…on our own.
Here is the big problem. Nonbiblical worldview ideas don’t just sit in a book somewhere waiting for people to examine them. They bombard us constantly from television, film, music, newspapers, magazines, books and academia.
Because we live in a selfish, fallen world, these ideas seductively appeal to the desires of our flesh, and we often end up incorporating them into our personal worldview. Sadly, we often do this without even knowing it.
Whether conscious or subconscious, every person has some type of worldview. A personal worldview is a combination of all you believe to be true, and what you believe becomes the driving force behind every emotion, decision and action. Therefore, it affects your response to every area of life: from philosophy to science, theology and anthropology to economics, law, politics, art and social order — everything.
Have I confused you even more? Stay with me…
A biblical worldview is based on the infallible Word of God. When you believe the Bible is entirely true, then you allow it to be the foundation of everything you say and do. That means, for instance, you take seriously the mandate in Romans 13 to honor the governing authorities by researching the candidates and issues, making voting a priority.
Do you have a biblical worldview? Answer the following questions, based on claims found in the Bible and which George Barna used in his survey:
–Do absolute moral truths exist?
–Is absolute truth defined by the Bible?
–Did Jesus Christ live a sinless life?
–Is God the all-powerful and all-knowing Creator of the universe, and does He still rule it today?
–Is salvation a gift from God that cannot be earned?
–Is Satan real?
–Does a Christian have a responsibility to share his or her faith in Christ with other people?
–Is the Bible accurate in all of its teachings?
Did you answer yes to these? Only 9 percent of “born- again” believers did. But what’s more important than your yes to these questions is whether your life shows it. Granted, we are all sinners and fall short, but most of our gut reactions will reflect what we deep-down, honest-to-goodness believe to be real and true.
Let’s read how Jesus comes along and teaches the opposite of the worldview thinking and clarifies Who God is, Who He is and why he came to his disciples first and then to the rest of the world.
Luke 9, New Living Translation
7 When Herod Antipas, the ruler of Galilee, heard about everything Jesus was doing, he was puzzled. Some were saying that John the Baptist had been raised from the dead. 8 Others thought Jesus was Elijah or one of the other prophets risen from the dead.
9 “I beheaded John,” Herod said, “so who is this man about whom I hear such stories?” And he kept trying to see him.
Jesus Feeds Five Thousand
10 When the apostles returned, they told Jesus everything they had done. Then he slipped quietly away with them toward the town of Bethsaida. 11 But the crowds found out where he was going, and they followed him. He welcomed them and taught them about the Kingdom of God, and he healed those who were sick.
12 Late in the afternoon the twelve disciples came to him and said, “Send the crowds away to the nearby villages and farms, so they can find food and lodging for the night. There is nothing to eat here in this remote place.”
13 But Jesus said, “You feed them.”
“But we have only five loaves of bread and two fish,” they answered. “Or are you expecting us to go and buy enough food for this whole crowd?” 14 For there were about 5,000 men there.
Jesus replied, “Tell them to sit down in groups of about fifty each.” 15 So the people all sat down. 16 Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, looked up toward heaven, and blessed them. Then, breaking the loaves into pieces, he kept giving the bread and fish to the disciples so they could distribute it to the people. 17 They all ate as much as they wanted, and afterward, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftovers!
Peter’s Declaration about Jesus
18 One day Jesus left the crowds to pray alone. Only his disciples were with him, and he asked them, “Who do people say I am?”
19 “Well,” they replied, “some say John the Baptist, some say Elijah, and others say you are one of the other ancient prophets risen from the dead.”
20 Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?”
Peter replied, “You are the Messiah sent from God!”
THINK ABOUT IT…
It is almost amusing if were not so sad when we read of the confusion of Herod who thought his sins were covered up nicely by killing John. Then Jesus comes behind the “Preparer” with the follow up Truth of repentance and Herod is confused once more. “Who is this man?”
To clear up any confusion the disciples might have, Jesus asks, “Who do people say I am?” A test of the view of the world. Then his followup question, “But, who do you say I am?”
Jesus asks us daily, through His Holy Spirit, “But, who do you say I am?” Who is He? Does our behavior match who we say He is? When we answer these questions honestly, He will clear up any confusion we might have.
Can we readily and truthfully declare, like Peter, “You are the Messiah sent from God!” when He asks?
In the end, it is our decisions and actions that reveal what we really believe.
“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).
Dear Heavenly Father, Lord and Savior,
I am not confused. We repent of following the world’s view of things at times without considering that it is the opposite of what you teach. We were created to love you back, give you praise and glory for all while coming to you in gratitude for all. You are God and we are not. We do not need to be in control, you have life, abundant and true, covered by your cleansing blood. Thank you, Lord. Continue to grow and produce the fruits of Your Holy Spirit in us, developing the characteristics of You. Help us to love like you love us. I want what you want.
In Jesus Name, Amen. I believe.