Who would you say was the most intelligent person who ever lived?
Google it and Einstein and Stephen Hawking’s pictures are prevalent. There’s also Marilyn vos Savant from Parade magazine. I remember reading her column each week really impressed with how she always figured out reader’s questions. There were also a few other people I didn’t recognize. The answer to the question of who is the most intelligent person who ever lived is one we’ll likely never get to. We all could have our personal opinion. I thought someone pretty obvious was missing in the Google results.
There was no picture of Jesus. What do you think? Should he have been on the list?
I think so. Here’s why, and it has to do with what we’re going to experience at Faith Church on Sunday.
Advent begins on Sunday! Advent is a four week period of preparation for Christmas. We prepare ourselves spiritually to celebrate the birth of the King. And this Advent we’re going to start a series through the Gospel of Luke, which perhaps is the most famous account of the Nativity. I’m excited about Advent this year because so many people from Faith Church are going to be participating in worship. Each week one person is going to create a piece of original artwork to illustrate that week’s teaching from Luke. We’ll also have a different family reading the Advent liturgy and lighting the candles on the Advent Wreath. Finally on Christmas Eve, we’ll have seven other people each sharing the Nativity story from the viewpoint of one of its main characters. I’m especially excited to start studying Luke’s Gospel together.
In particular, may this study help you know Jesus better. Luke was writing to Christians. They already knew Jesus, but he wanted them to know Jesus better. Perhaps that describes you too. Or maybe you’re not a Christian but Jesus interests you. You are welcome to join us in this study!
As we walk through the Gospel of Luke, we are going to hear a lot of Jesus’ words. Tons of his teachings. Sermons, parables, conversations. Luke allows us to hear Jesus, and what you hear will be amazing. Jesus was a genius. The most intelligent man who ever lived, right? We will listen closely to his words. Learn from them. Allow them to change us.
But we will also read about many of works. We will see the miracles, the healings, and of course, most of all, his miraculous birth, death and resurrection. We will not only learn from his words, but we will learn from his works. Being the most intelligent man who ever lived, he often taught his disciples through his works.
And we won’t stop there. There was more to Jesus than just his words and his works. There was also his way. His way is the pattern of his life. The way he lived. The choices he made. What he did when no one was looking. You have to read between the lines a bit to learn the way of Jesus. You have to think about why he did what he did. He made disciples, for example, but how? What did he do? What was his relationship with God the Father like? There are so many questions we could ask of him, and we will try to ask as many as possible.
We often think about Jesus as a calm, meek, peaceful guy. We can even get the idea that if he were here today it might be very awkward, or even that we wouldn’t like him.
But if you think that, think again. Remember that the crowds flocked to him by the thousands. It was like Black Friday crowds frenzied to get the best deal at Target, crashing through doors, jumping over people to be first. Except those crowds 2000 years ago weren’t looking for a new TV, they wanted to be close to the guy that everyone was talking about. They wanted to hear the words he said. And when they did, he blew their minds.
He had the leadership of Abraham Lincoln, the genius of Einstein, the vision of Steve Jobs, the humor of Robin Williams, and the love and power of the Holy Spirit running through his veins. That’s the guy we’re going to study. And I can’t wait.
But today, the first day of Advent, we don’t meet Jesus at all. Luke introduces us to another guy.
To prepare read Luke 1:1-25.