A Countercultural Church
Day: 10 | Plan: Luke
Today’s Reading: Luke 6
Luke 6:32-33 (NIV) “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.”
When you read the news or look at the circumstances of your life, does it seem like this world has gone crazy? While many of us may find that state of our culture upsetting, following Jesus means we see the choices before us, and the circumstances around us in completely different ways. In that sense, the culture around us should feel off or kind of crazy to us.
In Luke 6, we see a collection of teachings and interactions between Jesus, His disciples and the religious leaders. There is a thread of consistency between the stories. Jesus was teaching those around Him how to both think and live differently than the norm, counterintuitively and counterculturally.
You see, in Luke’s day, Jesus spent as much time correcting wrong religious thinking as anything else. Biblical thinking is more than moral behavior modification. It’s more than church lingo. It’s right living in an upside-down world. And Jesus’ teaching is that this kind of living ought to touch every aspect of our lives.
Here’s a sampling of Jesus’ teachings here in Luke 6:
When questioned by the religious leaders as to why He would heal on the Sabbath, Jesus says regardless of religious convention (which is different than religious conviction) it is better to heal and serve than ignore or condemn. Religious leaders said put people off and follow protocol. That had become the cultural norm. Jesus’ authority as Lord of the Sabbath frees His people to follow His authority not tradition. Jesus was putting people above protocol and paradigms. Think about how living like this would truly change our culture.
When teaching how to love others, Jesus says culture expects us to love those who love us back. Normal says we lend to those who can and will pay us back. Jesus wants His followers to defy cultural expectations and extend lavish love and grace even on their enemies and those powerless to benefit us. Think about how treating others like this would radically impact our culture.
To live counter to the culture rarely feels good. These notions were radical then and now. To read and understand what Jesus asks of us is entirely different than actually doing it. But this is the radical part of radical living—doing what Jesus calls us to do, not just thinking about it. (Luke 6:46-49) This kind of living is really the call of the gospel. Jesus invites us to change the world around us with a radical way of living and loving. Our world could use a heavy dose of this kind of Jesus-culture.
Prayer: Heavenly Father, it’s so easy to forget that this world’s wisdom and ways are not supposed to be normal for me. You invite Your followers to live countercultural, helping to reframe what it means to love others, live in grace and worship You. Help me to see the craziness of this world as a gentle reminder that there is a better way. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Also in Luke 6 is an oft-quoted portion of Scripture: “Do not judge, and you will not... Read More
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