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Good News

Good News. Luke.  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  47:20
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Journey through the book of Luke.

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Good News

This morning we are kicking of a brand new sermon series.
A series I’m excited about.
I’ve never preached thru Luke but this morning we begin a series that will take us thru Easter.
I just believe we need some good news.
I just believe we need the Gospel.
I just believe we need Jesus.
So we are going to take some time to rediscover Jesus.
We are Christians.
We follow Jesus.
We follow the life and teaching and power of Jesus.
It seems that in our current cultural moment that we need more of Jesus not less.
In this age of discontent, deconstruction, and deconversion the only hope is Jesus.
We can find contentment in Jesus.
We can find a solid foundation in Jesus.
We can find transformation in Jesus.
Now when I talk about discontent and deconstruction and deconversion I want to be clear - I am often discontented with the church and our public witness and our faithfulness, I think that deconstruction can be helpful in leading us back to Jesus, but I also believe that the answer isn’t in deconversion or walking away but in discovery in coming in closer.
We need to discover again the beauty and power and mystery and revelation and truth of Jesus.
We need to discover again the life and teachings and miracles and kingdom of Jesus.
We need to fall in love with Jesus again.
Thats the Gospel.
That’s the Good News.
Jesus is the Good News.
The life and death and resurrection of Jesus and all that entails is the Good News.
So we are going to spend some time rediscovering this Good News and coming closer to Jesus to begin this new year.
To help us come closer to Jesus we are beginning a 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting tomorrow, we are doing a bible reading plan together, having a night of worship next Sunday night, every Wednesday in January will be a night of prayer, and we will have a focused daily prayer calendar.
I am so excited about this.
I believe that thru prayer and fasting and worship and bible reading and preaching that we are going to come closer to Jesus and in that closeness we will discover a greater peace and hope and joy and love and unity and purpose.
Sunday’s matter.
Sundays are for life.
I hope you will make a commitment to be here on Sunday, to pray, to fast, to read.
There is Good News.
So lets open up the scriptures and let fall in love with Jesus all over again.

A Gospel Narrative. A Good News Story.

Luke begins his book by telling us his purpose.
Luke 1:1-4
Luke 1:1–4 CSB
Many have undertaken to compile a narrative about the events that have been fulfilled among us, just as the original eyewitnesses and servants of the word handed them down to us. So it also seemed good to me, since I have carefully investigated everything from the very first, to write to you in an orderly sequence, most honorable Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things about which you have been instructed.
Luke‘s opening sentence spells it out- this is a narrative, a story, written to preserve the eyewitness and servants accounts of the Life of Jesus.
But it‘s not just a story. Its a true story. It’s a good story. It’s a compelling story. It’s an investigated story. A story written to help Theophilus as he grows in his faith and understanding Jesus.
It’s a story Theophilus could be certain about.
It‘s a story that we can be certain about.
Luke wrote his Gospel so that everyone who read it would know that this gospel is gospel for all.
Gospel literally mean ”Good News”.
And Luke’s Gospel is Good News for all.
Luke emphasizes the prophecies of the OT that Jesus would be “for all” and that the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is the hope and life for all no matter race or creed, male or female, rich or poor, Jew or Gentile. And that Jesus empowers His followers with the Holy Spirit.
See Luke didn’t write The Gospel of Luke only, but Luke also wrote the Book of Acts. Luke really is a two volume set. The Good News of Jesus (the Gospel of Luke) and the Work of the Church Empowered By The Spirit (The Acts of the Apostles).
So Luke is this Gospel Narrative, its a Good News Story.
And it begins with the birth of Jesus.

Origin Story

Every hero has an origin story.
And the Hero of Luke, the Savior of the world, Jesus has an origin story as well.
We just came thru Advent season and Christmas.
We’ve talked a lot about the origin from the Prophet Isaiah and the Prophet Micah.
But the origin story actually begins in the first book of the Bible.
God promised that through the seed of a women (not from the seed of a man) that the serpent, the devil, would be crushed.
In Genesis 3:14-15
Genesis 3:14–15 CSB
14 So the Lord God said to the serpent: Because you have done this, you are cursed more than any livestock and more than any wild animal. You will move on your belly and eat dust all the days of your life. 15 I will put hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring.* He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.
This is called the Protoevangelium - its the first mention of the good news of a Savior who will come from a woman to crush Satan.
This origin story doesn’t make sense in the natural.
This origin story requires a future miraculous event.
A child can not be born without a man. At least not naturally.
A child can not be born without the seed of man. At least not naturally.
But here is the promise from God that the seed of a woman will crush the head of the serpent.
The promise also says that the seed of the woman will be bruised in the battle but that the serpent will be dealt a fatal blow.
Fast forward to Luke.
Luke 1:26-37
Luke 1:26–37 CSB
26 In the sixth month, the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a town in Galilee called Nazareth, 27 to a virgin engaged to a man named Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary. 28 And the angel came to her and said, “Greetings, favored woman! The Lord is with you.” 29 But she was deeply troubled by this statement, wondering what kind of greeting this could be. 30 Then the angel told her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. 31 Now listen: You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. 32 He will be great and will be called the Son of the Most High, and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. 33 He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and his kingdom will have no end.” 34 Mary asked the angel, “How can this be, since I have not had sexual relations with a man?” 35 The angel replied to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. Therefore, the holy one to be born will be called the Son of God. 36 And consider your relative Elizabeth—even she has conceived a son in her old age, and this is the sixth month for her who was called childless. 37 For nothing will be impossible with God.”
How will this be Mary asked? I’m a virgin.
The angel answered, the Holy Spirit will do it.
Jesus was the seed of the woman promised to Eve in the Garden fulfilled in the womb of Mary and bruised on the cross but exalted from the tomb crushing the power of the serpent.
The origin story is fulfilled At the birth of Jesus.
And this is Good News to the world.

Good News To Elizabeth

After Mary became pregnant by the Holy Spririt she went to visit her relative Elizabeth.
Now Elizabeth was pregnant too.
She had been barren.
Her and her husband Zechariah were old.
One day Zechariah as the Priest enters the temple for sacrifice and God tells him that he and Elizabeth will have a son.
John. The guy who will be known for eating locust and wild honey and baptizing folks in the Jordan River.
Well Mary goes to visit Elizabeth.
And as soon as Mary enters the room the preborn John leaps for joy in Elizabeth’s womb and Elizabeth is filled with the Holy Spirit.
And she yells out in excitement “The mother of my LORD is here.”
Elizabeth, filled filled with the Spirit recognized by the Spirit that the baby in Mary’s womb was the fulfillment of the promise to Eve in the Garden.
And these three women celebrate. And then Mary sings a song.

Good News To Mary

Luke 1:46-56
Luke 1:46–56 CSB
46 And Mary said: My soul magnifies the Lord, 47 and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior, 48 because he has looked with favor on the humble condition of his servant. Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed, 49 because the Mighty One has done great things for me, and his name is holy. 50 His mercy is from generation to generation on those who fear him. 51 He has done a mighty deed with his arm; he has scattered the proud because of the thoughts of their hearts; 52 he has toppled the mighty from their thrones and exalted the lowly. 53 He has satisfied the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty. 54 He has helped his servant Israel, remembering his mercy 55 to Abraham and his descendants forever, just as he spoke to our ancestors. 56 And Mary stayed with her about three months; then she returned to her home.
Mary says, God has looked at me with favor.
That‘s good news for Mary.
But Mary recognizes that the Good News for her is also Good News for the world.
God keeps His word.
God overthrows evil empires.
God removes the wealth of the wicked.
God lifts up the poor.
God scatters the proud.
God topples kings.
God satisfies the hungry.
God keeps His covenant.
Jesus is Good News broken, poor, outcast, faithful, oppressed.
Jesus is the crushing of the serpent.
And that‘s Good News to Mary.
It was not good news for Herod who understood from the Magi that a new king was born.
But it was good news to the shepherds.

Good News For The Shepherds

Luke 2:8-12
Luke 2:8–12 CSB
In the same region, shepherds were staying out in the fields and keeping watch at night over their flock. Then an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Don’t be afraid, for look, I proclaim to you good news of great joy that will be for all the people: 11 Today in the city of David a Savior was born for you, who is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be the sign for you: You will find a baby wrapped tightly in cloth and lying in a manger.”
Shepherds we not well respected people.
They were considered dirty, uneducated - the very type of people Mary sings about in her Magnificat.
And these are the people the angels came to.
Good News of Great joy.
But not just good news for the shepherds.
The angel announced “good news of great joy for all the people”.
The angels sang
Luke 2:14
Luke 2:14 CSB
Glory to God in the highest heaven, and peace on earth to people he favors!
Great joy for all.
Peace on earth.
Jesus is Good News.
And after eight days Mary and Joseph (her fiancé’) head to Jerusalem to have the boy child presented in the Temple to sacrifice on offering and to circumcise the boy.

Good News For Simeon

Luke 2:22-23
Luke 2:22–33 CSB
22 And when the days of their purification according to the law of Moses were finished, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord 23 (just as it is written in the law of the Lord, Every firstborn male will be dedicated to the Lord) 24 and to offer a sacrifice (according to what is stated in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtledoves or two young pigeons). 25 There was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Simeon. This man was righteous and devout, looking forward to Israel’s consolation, and the Holy Spirit was on him. 26 It had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he saw the Lord’s Messiah. 27 Guided by the Spirit, he entered the temple. When the parents brought in the child Jesus to perform for him what was customary under the law, 28 Simeon took him up in his arms, praised God, and said, 29 Now, Master, you can dismiss your servant in peace, as you promised. 30 For my eyes have seen your salvation. 31 You have prepared it in the presence of all peoples— 32 a light for revelation to the Gentiles and glory to your people Israel. 33 His father and mother were amazed at what was being said about him.
Simeon was a righteous man.
Simeon believed God and it was counted to him as righteousness.
He was looking for the rescue and comfort God would provide to His people.
The rescue and comfort promised by God to Eve, and spoken of by prophets, poets, and priests.
And when Simeon sees Jesus he takes him in his arms (some of you moms would like that, but Mary knew her son was special, and Mary knew that Simeon knew)
And the Holy Spirit was on him.
And he said, not to Mary and Joseph, and not to the people gathered in Jerusalem, but he says to God, “My eyes have seen your salvation, prepared for everyone, a light to the Gentiles, and glory for Israel.”
He tells God, I can die in peace because you have kept your promise.
And then he tells Mary and Joseph “This child is appointed for the fall and rising of many” and “a sword will pierce you soul as well”
Simeon was letting them know that while their son is the light for the nations the darkness of the world will fight against him and ever Mary will be sorrowful at what the darkness does to her son.
But thankfully darkness doesn’t have the last word.
Because the birth of Jesus was Good News to someone else that day.

Good News For Anna

Luke 2:36-38
Luke 2:36–38 CSB
36 There was also a prophetess, Anna, a daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was well along in years, having lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, 37 and was a widow for eighty-four years. She did not leave the temple, serving God night and day with fasting and prayers. 38 At that very moment, she came up and began to thank God and to speak about him to all who were looking forward to the redemption of Jerusalem.
Anna. A Prophetess.
Think about how many sermons she must have preached hanging out outside of the Temple.
Think about how she lived at the Temple.
Think about how she served God night and day with fastings and prayers.
Think about how the Savior of the World, the Light to the Gentiles, and the Glory of Israel is taken into the arms of the centenarian Who has prophesied for decades of the coming of the Savior.
This woman who had devoted her live to God after the death of her husband begins to tell everyone about the Good News that has arrived to be circumsized.
This elderly women knew God.
This elderly women met the Savior face to face.
And she thanked God and told everyone that the Redeemer had come.
This is Good News.

Good News For The World

Do you see this morning this Jesus is Good News For Everyone.
Good News For Eve.
Good News for Elizabeth.
Good News for Mary.
Good News for the Shepherds.
Good News for Simeon.
Good News for Anna.
Good News for everyone except the Serpent and those who follow the Serpent.
Good News for women and men, boy and girl, young and old, for every tongue, tribe, and race, for every nation, for the oppressed and the poor, and for all those looking with anticipition and hope in the rescue on mankind.
Jesus is Good News for the world.
Luke 2:39-40
Luke 2:39–40 CSB
39 When they had completed everything according to the law of the Lord, they returned to Galilee, to their own town of Nazareth. 40 The boy grew up and became strong, filled with wisdom, and God’s grace was on him.
This boy grew and became strong, filled with wisdom, and God’s grace (gifting, anointing, calling) was on him.
This boy is Jesus.
And this Jesus is Good News for us.
The ramification of this is massive.
If Jesus really is Good News why aren’t we talking more about Jesus?
If Jesus really is Good News why are we afraid to speak His name?
If Jesus really is Good News why aren’t we shouting Jesus from our Facebook pages and our rooftops?
If Jesus really is Good News why have we become so discontented with simply following Jesus?
If Jesus really is Good News why have we piled so much on top of the message?
If Jesus really is Good News why aren’t we inviting people to come and encounter Jesus at church?
If Jesus really is Gold News why aren’t we so easily distracted and entertained by false gods and fake news.
It’s time to rediscover the GOOD NEWS and come closer to Jesus.
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