Summary: Lukes gives a snapshot into the purpose and power of Jesus and the gospel
Whenever we gather together on Sunday as a church, it is to worship our God and Lord Jesus Christ. The Church is known as the Bride of Christ. It is our solemn duty, it is our great privilege, it is the very least we can do to exalt and praise the One worthy of all power and dominion forever. He has purchased us from sin and death with His sacrifice. That is a fundamental purpose of our church. The other fundamental purpose is to go. We are to go out into every place where we find the least, the last, and the lost and call them home. It is a message of love and it is an invitation of love. The church is a gathering place and a sending place. We must get this right or we are not in the will of God.
The Bible - the Scripture - is the book about Him. The Old Testament is the revelation about His coming. The New Testament is the revelation about His arrival, with the book of Revelation a prophetic treatise about his return. As a whole, the Bible culminates around this great Day of the Lord that is coming. Scripture is His story. He was at the creation and he was the one prophesied at that fall that the seed of the woman would crush Satan under his feet (Gen 3:15). He was the one that shut Noah and his family in Ark. He called Abram to Canaan. He was the burning bush calling Moses to deliver Israel from slavery. He was the Passover lamb. He was the Pillar of fire and smoke in the desert. He was the lawgiver and the fulfillment of the law. He commander of the army of the Lord standing before Joshua. He was kinsman-redeemer, the song of David, the weeping prophet, and so on and so on.
This book is His story and we are a part of that story. You are His story too. He is moving and shaping you. This is not our church, this is His church. Apart from him, we can do nothing. Apart from him, we lose our purpose, our worship, our mandate, and our authority over darkness. Through him, we have a purpose. Through him, we have a commission and we have a purpose to worship. We have to get this right. We don’t gather to attract. We gather to empower, be filled, shaped, encouraged, strengthened, and sent back out.
Luke’s gospel was written to reveal this to us. This is the testimony of Jesus’ power and authority. He reveals to us how and why Jesus is God’s promised messiah. Luke includes all of this evidence to build a masterful case. And he's proving to us that Jesus is God in human flesh, the promised Messiah, the Christ, the Lord, the Savior, the Redeemer.
Last week we read about the 12 disciples Jesus chose as his closest followers. Now, there were literally hundreds of disciples following after Jesus, but these twelve were the closest students of Jesus, with Peter, James, and John being Jesus’ innermost circle. This was done after an entire night of praying. This morning we enter into a phase of Jesus teaching his disciples and the crowds of people about what it means to be citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven and this is where we pick it up today:
17 And he came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples and a great multitude of people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the seacoast of Tyre and Sidon, 18 who came to hear him and to be healed of their diseases. And those who were troubled with unclean spirits were cured. 19 And all the crowd sought to touch him, for power came out from him and healed them all. (Luke 6:17–19 ESV)
Before Luke gets into the heart of Jesus’ teaching, he wants us to pause for a moment and catch our breath. In doing so we see a snapshot of the current situation. Every once in a while you need to stop and reorient yourself to the situation, especially in a spiritual battle. You have to take a look at who are the players involved. This is what Luke is doing for us here. He wants us to catch up with the situation and we see two important things about Jesus: The Popularity of Jesus and the Power of Jesus.
1. The Popularity of Jesus
We live in a world that seeks to find meaning and fulfillment and satisfaction in all kinds of ways. And yet, people find only emptiness in following their various pursuits. Perhaps psychiatrist Carl Jung gave the best description of our culture today when he said, “The central neurosis of our time is emptiness.” One would think that people living in the 21st century would have learned how to deal with the emptiness of life. But they have not.