That's the Book: Luke
If you have kids my bet is you've seen Finding Nemo. More than once. Who am I kidding? You probably have it memorized. So you already know the movie is about Nemo, a fish, who gets lost. He spends the whole movie trying to get home. His dad spends the whole movie trying to find them. The movie documents their story.
The book of Luke is the third gospel or story of Jesus. This one was written by a doctor named Luke. He investigated the reports of Jesus and compiled his notes, interviews .songs and information into one text. His stated goal was to help people find Jesus. This is the most detailed of the four accounts and provides extra insight into the people, miracles, wonder and events around Jesus. If you are searching for Jesus let me recommend you start with Luke.
With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught. Luke 1: 3-4
As I read Luke this time I thought about where we can find Jesus today. Here are some hints from my read through this week. You want to find Jesus?
Try church: There is a push right now in the Christian world to avoid church and find faith anywhere else. Can I recommend you go back? Church can be a primary place to feed your soul, to encourage other believers and to find out more about Jesus. Luke has a story about when Jesus' parents couldn't find him and Jesus seems shocked they didn't try the temple first. It's a good place to start and a good place to stay plugged in.
“Why were you searching for me?” he asked. “Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?” Luke2:49
Try prison: You want to find Jesus? Try the places where people are hurting. My guess is you'll find Jesus there. His ministry was all about helping the hurting. So if you want to find Jesus find someone hurting and try to make a difference. Or find a group of believers already pushing back on the dark in a hospital, homeless camp, jail, brothel or bar. You'll find Jesus.
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor. Luke 4:18-19
Try the Lake: Yup. Jesus loved to be near his guys out fishing. Out boating. Walking through fields. Praying in gardens. He knew that nature portrayed the glory of God. Wanna find Jesus? Take a Bible and go for a walk.
Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they had done so, they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break. Luke 5:5-6
Look for kids: If you want to see the world like Jesus did then start to volunteer in your church's preschool department. Or borrow your friend's kids and hang out at the zoo. Play with play-dough. Ask them questions. Serve someone weaker and smaller than you. You'll learn about heaven.
Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me.For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” Luke 9:48
The book of Luke is full of stories of Jesus interacting with and around his world. You'll find him arguing for outcasts. Standing for truth. Welcoming strangers.
Here is the great hope found in the book of Luke. If you seek him- you'll find him.
So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened. Luke 11:9-10
Want to know the better truth? He came to find YOU!
You know in Nemo he was surprised his dad was looking for him. Dad was out the whole time searching for Nemo. Just so he could tell him "Come home kiddo". Do you ever feel like you are searching for God and he's hiding? He's not. He left all the glory of heaven just to come and find you. Read Chapter 15 of Luke if you need a refresher. God's crazy about you and he went to great lengths to find you.
One of the stories in Chapter 15 is of the Prodigal Son? Here's the 2 second version. Rich dad has two sons. Older son does what he's supposed to his whole life. Follows the rules. Younger son takes his inheritance and runs away. Breaks all the rules. Ruins his life. Repents and heads home. Dad throws a party to celebrate because his son has returned. Older son pouts.
I think most people don't notice what happens next. We stop there. We talk about how God welcomes home the wandering messed up sinful son. And he most certainly does. But what happens next makes this church girl so happy. The one who was lost was welcomed home with open great arms to a great party. The elder one was pouting, bad attitude, missing the party. And then.
Dad went to find him too.
The older brother became angry and refused to go in. So his father went out and pleaded with him. Luke 15:28
"My son,’ the father said, ‘you are always with me, and everything I have is yours. But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found." Luke 15:31-32
See? God wants everyone at the party. He wants those lost in the world to come home. AND He wants those lost in judgment and apathy and fear in the church to come to the party. Salvation is for everyone.
You know what's fun about Finding Nemo? It came with a sequel. There was a next step. Same with Luke. Once you find your way home to the father - you are commissioned to the world to find others. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will fish for people." Luke 5:10
Wowsa. So much info in the book of Luke. If you have time and want a great sum up check out The Bible Project's Read Scripture series. Here are the two they did for the book of Luke.
Infographic?? Here you go!! And check out New Spring Church and their 24 day devotional to go along with the book of Luke. newspring.cc/studies/luke-a-24-day-devotionalREAD HERE. It's a good one.
I love Jesus. I think my two daughters can change the world. I think you can too.
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