We continue to read together through the Gospel According to Luke, seeking to know Jesus better so we can follow him better – so we can be more fully his disciples and live like Jesus lived. For the past few months, we’ve seen Jesus in action, on the move toward Jerusalem, initiating relationships and powerfully meeting human needs for forgiveness and healing. We’ve seen Jesus teaching with authority, healing with compassion, delegating his power, and confronting those who objected to him and his mission. Here we see Jesus reach his destination: Jerusalem, the capital city of his people and the site of the Temple. This is more than an interesting itinerary stop for Jesus – it’s a date with destiny, and a historic showdown in the cosmic history between God and his people.
We consider an interesting encounter between Jesus and a man up a tree. Jesus is on his way to Jerusalem. Zacchaeus, a rich but despised tax-collector, climbs a tree in order to get a better view of Jesus as he passes by. But Jesus sees him, stops, and invites himself to Zacchaeus’s home for dinner. It turns out to be a life-changing encounter as Zacchaeus restores what he’s stolen and Jesus restores Zacchaeus as a “son of Abraham.” Bishop Wayne Miller of the Metropolitan Chicago Synod brings the message.
For Mixer Sunday, we heard some compelling “lost and found” stories. First, we’ll hear some unforgettable parables from Jesus about the rescue and restoration of a lost sheep, a lost coin, and a lost child. And then we’ll hear from each other as four of our own folks share stories and reflections on how the message of these parables has played out in their own lives.
Jesus and his disciples are making their way toward Jerusalem, where Jesus is fully aware that death awaits him. He uses this remaining time to continue to teach his followers essential lessons about what God values and how we can align our priorities with his.
Jesus did much of his teaching in parables, stories and figures intended to teach and to move listeners to align their lives with God’s point of view. Today we’ll hear a story about a man who threw a dinner party, only to find his invited guests making last-minute excuses. Klyne Snodgrass — theologian, author, and professor of New Testament Studies at North Park Theological Seminary — brings the message.