2021_10_11 Insight Post- Kim Feld
This week's reading- Luke 23-24
As we’ve made our way through the four biographies of Jesus, we’ve noticed how they complement each other. Just as if four of us were witnesses of an event and then shared the details with others, our individual accounts may focus on different aspects of the event. We have also identified several pieces of information in Luke that are not recorded in the other gospels. Chapter 23 gives us another example. Let’s take a look.
Luke 23:39- 43 says, “One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?
41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Matthew and Mark both record interactions with the two criminals that Jesus was crucified with, but not the redemptive story of the one (see Matthew 27:38-44 and Mark 15:27-32). Luke alone also records Jesus’ forgiveness of those who are crucifying Him (see Luke 23:34). When I read this, I see connections between Jesus’ parables in Luke 15 and the story of Zacchaeus: Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost, even a convicted criminal sentenced to die.
So, what do we do with this Jesus who turned so many things on its head? He served, He forgave, He reached out to the margins, He healed, and He restored, all without compromise of God’s standards. That so challenges me because finding that balance can be confusing to me – it’s often not the popular path, leading to misunderstanding and judgment from others. And that hurts when it happens.
I pray for the heart of Jesus to beat within me, for His eyes to replace mine, and for His words to come out of my mouth. I want to look like this Jesus who forgave and invited others in right up until His last breath. I’m praying that we begin to look less and less like ourselves and more and more like Jesus as a community of faith. He alone is the hope of the world, and He invites us to pick up our cross and join Him.
Executive Director of Education and Outreach