Jesus is in Jerusalem, the authorities are biding their time to arrest and kill him. Luke has shown us that Jesus really is the perfect son – a second Adam to rule the world justly. How we respond to Jesus is the vital question.
WHAT’S GOING ON HERE?
People are questioning Jesus. It’s not pretty because the questions aren’t particularly genuine. Jesus challenges their questions with questions, not accepting their assumptions and directing them towards more important questions. Listen to Michael Ramsden’s talk on Asking good questions from bethinking.org for more on the way Jesus handles these situations.
In the middle of it he tells a parable which goes a long way to explaining the conversations. The story is simple enough. The beloved son of The Owner is sent to the vineyard, and they kill him, seeking his inheritance. He’s the heir of all things. If they will oppose him he’ll give the inheritance to others. Explaining his parable Jesus cites Psalm 118:22. The Peter and John will do the same in Acts 4:11 when they’re on trial, and Peter again in 1 Peter 2:6-7. As Paul says in Ephesians 2:20, Christ Jesus himself is the cornerstone.
You can build for eternity on Jesus, but some will stumble over Jesus and be crushed by him. What people do with Jesus is a moral issue of where people stand in relation to his authority as the king and heir. Here’s is the Father’s message to his world, “it’s all about what you do with my beloved son.” He is the cornerstone – everything stand on him. It’s not about tickets to heaven. As Jesus has told us previously, only the Son knows the Father, so if you don’t know the Son you won’t know the Father.
The eternal life Jesus offers is about relationship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. And because everything comes through knowing Jesus the Father sent Jesus into world. This is illustrated well by Robert Strand’s story ‘The Final Bid’ which Student Alpha have animated as ‘The Beloved Son’.
The kingdom of God is available to all who don’t trip over Jesus but trust him. We don’t win people with philosophy or moral or ethical agendas. The issue is Jesus.
Any offence we cause should be because of him and not because we’ve said or done stupid things about other things, nor because we’ve failed to present Jesus well. The beauty of opening up Luke’s gospel with someone is that we’re inviting them to see for themselves who he is.