My friend, Heather, is also listening. She made the observation that the Gospels are a beautiful transition from the God of the Old Testament - a God many people associate with wrath and smiting - and the God of the New Testament. Reading through the OT seriously reveals a God who is tender but just. Smiting happens. But He keeps reaching out to His children, drawing them in, embracing them.
Jesus is obviously the God of the Old Testament, but His harsh words and actions are directed to the hypocrites, the legalists, the selfish leaders. The people I find myself connecting to. The tender, compassionate side of Christ is obvious, seen as he heals, sets people free, draws children to Himself, is patient with His thick-headed followers.
My Hunny struggled with the side of Jesus which was never so obvious to him as now, the harsh side. I reminded him that Acts is just around the corner, that everything changes soon. A third view of God and how He loves His people will be evident in a few short chapters. Hang in there.
Hunny told me, last night, that he caught a glimpse of that side of Jesus. So cool that Jesus embodies His Father, Himself and the Spirit all at once. The miracle and mystery of God being three and one at once.
At the end of Luke is a story of Jesus walking with His disciples - it's after His resurrection and they don't realize who He is - deep in conversation. The followers are appalled that this stranger doesn't know what's been happening in Jerusalem the last couple of weeks, that He's unaware of the political prisoner - a prophet, His brutal death, the entire city in an uproar. And Jesus patiently lays out, one by one, the prophecies in the Old Testament which foretold His birth, life, death and resurrection.
The followers, when they finally understand that this is Jesus, that He's alive and with them, are overcome. My heart warms and melts as I read these lines. He loves them. He didn't leave them. The lost child inside of me is tugged toward Him as He lets them know He's not gone forever.
Again, there's a strong crossover with the Narnian books. Somehow, though, the Narnian chronicles allow the Gospels to become even more alive and real to me now. I love that.
So. I guess I'll leave it at that. I'm thinking we'll be in Acts by this time next week. That should be challenging for me. There's a lot there I don't understand. I struggle with some of it.
Until I write again ...