In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus preaches from the plain, close to the people. As he preaches, imagine his teaching about the reign of God as a stone thrown in the water.
"He came down with them and stood on a level place, with a great crowd of his disciples. ... And all in the crowd were trying to touch him, for power came out from him and healed all of them. Then he looked at his disciples and said: 'Blessed are you who are poor for yours is the kingdom of God' " (6:17-20).
After preaching about mission, he put legs on the sermon and lived it. "After Jesus had finished all his sayings in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum" (7:1). There Jesus credentialed the teaching with mission that crosses boundaries and engages the most vulnerable: a centurion's servant, the widow at Nain.
Jesus repeats his vision for the reign of God and its mission to John's disciples: "Tell John what you have seen and heard ..." (7:22). He describes to them a mission of restoration and reconciliation, where the blind see, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the poor have good news brought to them.
The rest of this article is only available to subscribers.
© 2014 Augsburg Fortress, Publishers