Luke 7:36-50 – An Awkward Dinner Party

Ever been in an awkward social situation?  Ever felt unwelcome at a gathering?  Ever eaten a meal at someone’s house only to have an immoral woman walk in and start washing your feet with her tears and anointing them with perfume?  No?  That’s what happens to Jesus in this story.  He eats with a Pharisee, […]

Luke 7:18-35 – Even John the Baptist Gets the Blues

We learn several things from this strange story in Luke 7.  We learn that even God-ordained, miraculously-born heralds of the Messiah can doubt in the midst of trial.  We learn that God can use the confusion of notable prophets to instruct and reassure His people.  We learn that the greatness of John the Baptist doesn’t […]

Luke 7:1-17 – A Centurion, a Widow, an Amazing Savior

Two amazing miracles.  Two demonstrations of Jesus’ sovereignty over creation.  Two signs of His divinity.  Two victories in His continuing war against a fallen world.  Two demonstrations of compassion and one amazing example of faith.  Luke begins this chapter with two scenes from Jesus’ life that show we serve an omnipotent and merciful Redeemer who […]

Luke 6:46-49 – The Importance of Quality Construction

Jesus concludes His sermon with a final application comparing those who look saved with those who truly are.  He’s just explained that there are false believers who bear bad fruit and true believers who bear good fruit.  And He told us that words will expose the hearts of those who profess the truth versus those […]

Luke 6:43-45 – The Heart Always Shows Itself

It’s time to learn about trees and the fruit they produce.  Jesus takes what He just said about judgment and hypocrisy and uses it to launch into a lesson about how to identify good trees (true believers) and bad trees (false believers).  In both cases, they’re identified by the fruit they produce.  Bad trees produce […]

Luke 6:36-42 – Merciful as Our Father

After telling His followers to love their enemies – a revolutionary concept that turns every natural human impulse on its head – Jesus doesn’t let up.  He now explores mercy and all its ramifications.  Just as the citizen of the kingdom of God must treat his enemies as God does, so he must have the […]

Mom 1931-2023

My mom died last week and we celebrated her life today. Below is a tribute I delivered at the funeral in her honor: When we met with the funeral home to start planning today, the representative we met with asked each of us in the family to tell her something about mom.  We all kind […]

The Case Against Christmas Lists

Here’s my thesis: Christmas lists take the magic and fun and surprise out of Christmas and reduce it to a transactional holiday morning.  Once lists enter the equation, Christmas effectively becomes a baby shower or wedding reception with lights.  There are times and places for pre-determined buying decisions, but Christmas isn’t one of them.  A […]

Luke 6:27-35 – Love Your Enemies

Love your enemies.  It’s a simple sentence, isn’t it?  It’s an imperative made up of three words, none of which is hard to understand.  It’s short, it’s easily definable, it’s easy to read and speak.  There’s absolutely nothing about it that’s complicated at all.  It even kind of rolls off the tongue.  What we realize […]

Luke 6:17-26 – Called to be Different

Starting in verse 20 and lasting through the end of the chapter is what some call the Sermon on the Plain.  Likely the same sermon as the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5-7, it is Jesus’ manifesto explaining how a citizen of the kingdom of God is to live.  In a word, the godly […]