Grace Emerges

Thursday, April 5, 2012

An Easter Reflection

by Brad Duncan

As I reflect on what Jesus did in his ministry on Earth and with his death on the cross, I can't help but see human nature through God's eyes.  At the same time I see God's nature through Jesus.
God, who sent his Son to be human, so he could in turn show us what the Father is like.
God whose plan from the beginning of time was to establish something good on Earth, where his creation would participate in a kingdom of his design.
God made something good when he designed us.
Jesus came to us and showed us good.
The Holy Spirit continues to be the force of good in the world, working among us and bringing about God's good intentions.
Take a look at this table: it lists some of the things that Jesus did in Luke chapters 4-7.  It challenges us to consider what these choices and actions shows us about God's nature.  As Jesus reflected God's nature, why did he do these things. what do they show us about God's nature?  Then it challenges us to consider what we should do to follow Jesus as we continue what he started through the help of the Holy Spirit.

The Good News
of the Incarnation and God’s Kingdom

God the Father:

What does this show us about God’s nature and God’s view of human nature?

Jesus the Incarnation of God:

What Did Jesus Do?

The Holy Spirit:

What should we do with the help of the Holy Spirit as part of God’s kingdom?
Brought good news to the poor,
released the captives,
healed the blind,
liberated the oppressed, 
proclaimed God’s favor
(Luke 4:18,19, 6:20,21)
Forgave sins, healed the sick, was compassionate and taught us compassion
(Luke 5:17-26,6:36)
Accepted the rejected, called them to follow him, led people to change their hearts and lives
(Luke 5:27-31)
Valued doing good over following traditions and rules, resisted the religious establishment
(Luke 6:6-11,39-48)
Loved his enemies, always resisted peacefully, taught that God blesses both the good and evil with kindness, taught us to do the same
(Luke 6:27-35)
Withheld judgment of sinners, outcasts and outsiders, taught us not to judge others, taught us to be generous and gracious
(Luke 6:37-38, 7:36-50)

So why do I see human nature in the Incarnation?  Well we were created in God's image.  But we can't see God to know what he's like.  Instead we can see Jesus, who shows us God.  He's like a mirror of what human nature can be on its best day: forgiving, compassionate, accepting, able to resist favoritism and prejudices, kind to enemies, generous, gracious, and firmly standing for justice!

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