Category Archives: Gospel of Luke
I was reminded last night why Jesus describes genuine faith as a “childlike faith.”
Praying with my sons before bed, we thanked God for the rain and then prayed for those who did not have any homes.
Domingo (4) looked up at me and said “Daddy those people who don’t have any houses will get very wet.”
Me: “Yes, my boy that is why we pray that God will look after them,” (and my guilty conscience & good theology added) “Hopefully God will show us how we can help them best.”
Domingo: “Daddy we must share our houses with those people who haven’t got no house.”
But it’s just not that simple is it?
Or is it…
“Jesus said, ‘When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or sisters, your relatives, or your rich neighbours; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”
A significant problem with “friendship evangelism” is that we can end up only reaching “people like us” or even just people we like. And as Jesus reminds us in Matthew 5:46, if you only love those who love you- everyone does that. Even the tax-collectors.
In addition to our existing relationships we need to cross social and cultural divides. We need to move out of the ghetto.
Almost by definition, friendship evangelism leaves the socially marginalised untouched. And yet these were precisely the people Jesus went out of his way to include.
In Luke 14 we observe God- the Master of the great eternal party- has thrown open his banquet to
“the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame” (v21). Jesus urges us out of our ghetto in imitation of his gracious Father.
Jesus, himself left the splendour and security of heaven to live and die – among and for us. Us who are so radically different from him and undeserving of his love. And just as the Father has sent him so he now sends us (John 20:21).
(Based on the Porterbrook Network “Evangelism” module; Unit 3: Building Relationships)