This message has been a challenging one to review in my own mind and as I got some feedback about the Q&A afterward. As I reflect, there are many things that I could have done differently in my preparation for this. I will share two of them. 1. I should have spent a little more time connecting the theme of Luke as God preparing a way for all the nations to come to him to the Q&A with Jeremy. It seemed abrupt, and I think some people could have been confused. 2. I would have explained the purpose of the Q&A better. The goal was not to provide a comprehensive conversation about the race issue in our nation, but rather to hear a testimony of someone who has been on the receiving end of racism in many contexts. I am a huge fan of testimonies in the form of an interview, so I thought that would be a good way to go about this. It was not meant to be about Cops vs. Blacks. My hope was that all who hear Jeremy’s story will grow in their understanding of the experiences of minorities, and be less likely to jump to take sides in the race discussions. There is no way to make this discussion tidy, and so as Christians we need to be ok with a little messiness. This is my messy attempt to start a conversation and open eyes…
So, last week we did a brief introduction to the Gospel of Luke. The main focus was that Luke has written this letter to Theophilus and us so that we will have certainty about the things we have been taught.
Today we begin to look at the things that Theophilus has been taught, specifically the foretelling of the birth of John the Baptist.
Their Barreness was a result of God’s plan, not their sin
God is Sovereign over the lot that was cast
God has heard Zach’s prayers, He apparently has prayed consistently for a child and for His people.
God chose John, set him apart, and filled him with the holy spirit from within the womb.
John’s role of “greatness” was the role of a servant
Zach’s faith was weak. He was praying for a son, but was in disbelief that it was possible.
Zach’s lack of faith did not disqualify him from the task of fathering John.
God keeps His promises
God’s plans are for your good, and His glory.
Big Idea, God is laying the foundation for the redemption of a people through the birth of John. Aslan is on the move.
God has been laying the groundwork in the OT: Covenant made, covenant broken Covenant renewed.
Now, what we are going to see many times in this book is that God’s plan for salvation has layers, two of them primarily. One is on a personal, spiritual level, the other is on a community level.
Spiritual restoration Gospel in your heart. Turning the hearts back to God. Your greatest need in life is to be made right with God. Whatever God has taught His people through time, it is that He is a jealous God, and He will not share His glory. At the same time, He is a just God and He must punish sin, you and I have offend God at the deepest possible level, because at the root of all of our misbehaving is the assertion that we are God, and so that blasphemy and idolatry must be dealt with in a just way. God is preparing a people to receive that salvation. He is about to break into the world He created and turn it upside down…
Earthly restoration: Gospel in your world. Turning their hearts of their fathers to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just. The Gospel for the gentiles. One of the themes of the book of Luke, implicit in the fact that it is written to a Gentile is that the Gospel is not just for one ethnic group. When God set apart the nation of Israel, there tie was their blood, what God is preparing to do is tie a people from every tribe and nation together by the blood of Christ. Now, this has a pertinent impact on us today and I asked Jeremy Lewis if I could ask him some questions about what it is like to live as an African American in the midst of all of the racial tension and hate that is going on in our world.
Questions for Jeremy
What has been your experience with racism in your life?
describe a time when you have been pulled for driving while Black.
What are some of the concerns you have for your children growing up?
Is there anything you feel like white people need to know about your experience that they may not get from the media?