Summary: Salvation, restoration, joy

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Luke 15: 1-10 (p740) July 10, 2011


Have you ever communicated something to someone and you were really excited about it, but they miss the point ENTIRELY?!!!

I thought of this story...

On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made their first flight of an

airplane at Kitty Hawk NC. On their 5th attempt, the plane under the control of

Orville, embarked on a 12 second flight.

Wilbur rushed to the local telegraph office and sent the following message-WE HAVE


Upon receiving the telegram their sister, Katherine went to the newspaper office, told the

editor of her brother's new flying machine, and informed him, they would be home for

Christmas, if he would like to set up an interview.

He told her that was nice, and he would be sure to put something in the paper regarding

the boys.

On December 19th, the local paper placed the following headline on the 6th page of the


The most important story of the year - man's flight - and the editor missed it!

I don't believe the Editor missed the point because he was evil or stupid...he missed the point because of his "point of view".

He'd known the boys since their youth...and Katherine...He knew this family and the community, and because of that point of view he saw their being home for Christmas as the important event....not the first flight of mankind.

As we examine one of the most well known chapters in the New Testament its impossible for us not to look at it through American eyes...It's impossible for us not to receive the story like the Editor...because we've known since our childhood, we've raised boys of our own in this western culture, but maybe...just maybe we've also missed the most important news in doing so.

Kenneth Bailey an author and lecturer on Middle Eastern New Testament studies says

"If theology is presented in story form...(as Jesus does here in Luke 15), the meaning of the story cannot be fairly ascertained without becoming, as much as possible, a part of the culture of the story teller and his or her listeners."

He uses a great example...If I say "I'm mad about my flat" to an American audience it means "I'm hungry because someone or something punctured one of my automobile tires"...but if I use that same sentence to a British audience it means "I'm very excited about my new apartment!?

The culture of the speaker must be considered if what he says is to be understood.

So over the next five weeks (if Jesus tarries) we are going to look at Luke 15 through the eyes of a middle Eastern culture...and it is my hope that the words of Jesus will come alive with fresh insight as we seek to grasp the most important "News" in Jesus story.

"If a journey of a thousand miles begins with one step" its also true that "the first step must be in the right direction"...

Our first step with Jesus begins with....


In Luke's gospel Jesus begins his final journey to Jerusalem in chapter 9 and he arrives there in Chapter 19.

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