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Those who attended the July 17-21 Intensive Bible Training with Michael Card discovered some astonishing insights from God’s Word. Delving into the Scriptures, Michael led participants into a deeper understanding of Jesus through an in-depth study of “Luke: The Gospel of Amazement.”
Here are a few insights from Michael’s teaching on one of the major themes of Luke’s gospel:
“When Those Who Should, Don’t…”
As Luke went about the task of collecting eyewitness accounts of the life of Jesus, he noticed a pattern emerging. Time and time again, religious leaders—supposedly spiritual men, people who should have understood what Jesus’ ministry was about—were simply unable to comprehend the Rabbi from Nazareth. On the other hand, simple, run-of-the-mill people (most of them women) were able to almost immediately grasp the gift of grace that Jesus was offering them.
Eventually, the sheer weight of examples caused Luke to develop these stories into a literary theme which, for the lack of a better term, I call “when those who should, don’t and those who shouldn’t, do.”
Excerpt from the seminar presentation notes of Michael Card.
• Zechariah, the father of John the Baptist,
and Mary. Luke 1:5-56 (67ff)
Zechariah, a priest serving in the Holy Place in the Temple, is given a promise directly from the mouth of the angel Gabriel and yet, does not believe.
While Mary, a simple young girl from the backwater town of Nazareth, hears Gabriel and immediately responds by submitting herself as a “slave of the Master.”
• The Centurion and the Jews. Luke 7:1-10
The Jewish friends of the pagan soldier come to Jesus, insisting that he “deserves” Jesus’ attention.
While the Roman Centurion sends word, “…I do not deserve.” Nevertheless, he still asks for Jesus’ gift of healing for his slave. His faith amazes Jesus.
• Simon the Pharisee and the “sinful” woman. Luke 7:36-50
Simon, a Pharisee who has invited Jesus for meal fellowship, inwardly judges both Jesus as well as the sinful woman who has crashed the party.
While the woman who was a “sinner” weeps over the feet of Jesus and dries them with her hair. Jesus responds to Simon, “Do you see this woman?” because Simon has only viewed her as one of his categories.
• The Good Samaritan. Luke 10:25-37
So pervasive is this literary theme that it even makes it into the parables of Jesus. Here the priest and Levite pass by the wounded traveler, while the Samaritan goes far out of his way to help.
• The parable of the lost son. Luke 15:11-32
The younger son, who has wasted his father’s inheritance limps home and asks to become a servant.
While the older brother scorns the father’s forgiveness and complains that he is really a slave.
• The tax collector and the Pharisee. Luke 18:9-14
The religious Pharisee “prays about himself” before God and goes home unjustified.
While, unthinkably, the tax collector seems to understand the grace and forgiveness of God when he merely blurts out “have mercy…”
• The rich young ruler and Zacchaeus. Luke 18:18ff, 19:1-10
The young man cannot give up his possessions.
While Zacchaeus, the tax collector, repents and pays restoration.
• The rich men and the poor widow. Luke 21:1-4
The poor widow put more into the treasury than the rich men.
• The Crucifixion. Luke 23:35, 47
The religious leaders mock Jesus on the cross.
While the thief and the Roman soldier protest His innocence.
• The 11 and “the women.” Luke 24:8-12
After the resurrection, the women come to the eleven, believing Jesus has been raised from the dead.
While the disciples think they are merely “delirious.”
Our next Intensive Bible Training seminar is scheduled for August 28-September 1. Register now and enjoy the insightful teaching of Dr. R.T. Kendall as he speaks on “Experiencing the Presence of God.”
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