By Matt Hein
Journeying the road of this world is challenging, full of temptations, and littered with testing. God’s people have recognized this truth for ages. The road is a broken road full of cracks, potholes, and broken pavement upon which lives are too often left wrecked.
Sometimes the difficulties of the road are obvious and sometimes they are only recognizable by God’s revealing Word. No matter how you see the road before you, it remains treacherous for disciples who are following Jesus toward the Resurrection and New Creation.
The Gospel of Luke records Jesus’ journey (Lk. 9:51-19:48) from Galilee to Jerusalem. It is this journey that brings Jesus from the places of His early ministry to Jerusalem and the cross. For Jesus and the disciples, it is a hard road full of conflict and testing.
Yet along this broken road Luke shows us that something has changed. God is not satisfied with leaving the road wrecked and ruined. He is not content with broken-down lives and lost hope. In Jesus, God Himself journeys the broken road and reveals bits and pieces of His restoration plan along the way.
This year, during the season of Epiphany, Luke provides glimpses of what God is up to on the road by exposing the heart of Jesus through parables. Luke records some of Jesus’ most famous parables in which Jesus reveals what His Father is actively doing in the world.
…Jesus reveals what His Father is actively doing in the world.
Jesus’ parables, told along the road, are most often given in response to a challenge from Jewish religious leaders in towns on the way to Jerusalem. These spiritual leaders, charged with pointing God’s people to His gracious reign in the world, could not see how God was at work through Jesus. They ended up opposing the activity of God and His restoration plan.
In response to their blindness, Jesus revealed the heart of the Kingdom of God to disciples who were given eyes to see and ears to hear the truth of the parables. These stories of God’s restoration plan show His heart for the world He loves and shape the hearts of disciples following Him on the journey to be more like His heart.
Over the five weeks of the Epiphany season we’ll travel with Jesus as He shows us His heart through the parables of the Prodigal Son, the Great Banquet, the Lost Coin, and more. In these parables, spoken on the broken road, we will also receive the heart of Jesus for our journey. Our hearts will become more like His for the sake of the world.