IN A NUTSHELL – Many times ironies provide food for deep discussions. I had one of those the other day. As a preacher, I was asked, “Would you rather preach a wedding or a funeral?” Easy answer – “Most usually a funeral.” The mouth falls open and a puzzled look emerges. I can almost read their thoughts. “How morbid! Why would you rather be around death than the birth of a new family?” It’s all in understanding the context. When someone is dying spiritual games are minimized. When someone is getting married trivia and extravagance are common and spiritual truths that can make or break a family are often only tolerated or ignored. This week’s Scripture texts are several places where Jesus throws out on an ironic perspective which challenges us to think deeper.
Describe the most profound “irony” you have ever heard. Some humorous (some not best for the pulpit pictures of ironies)
CONNECTING TO THE TEXT “What an irony…”
Take a look at some key places where Jesus said, “I tell you the truth.”
- Luke 4:24 – that a “home town” boy could be _____ for telling the truth. An historical illustration of this that echoes eerie lessons for the current American economy can be seen in the European economist Ludwig von Mises
- Luke 9:27 – that major transitions in God’s plan of redemption could take place right beneath people’s noses and they _____ get it.
- Luke 12:37,44 – that a slave known for diligence could be placed in _____ over all his master’s possessions.
- Luke 18:17 – that children are the _____ of how to receive the Kingdom of God.
- Luke 18:29 – that people that _____ everything behind will actually receive many times over in the Kingdom!
- Luke 21:3 – that a poor widow could _____ give more than the wealthiest giver.
- Luke 23:43 – that a convicted criminal could be _____ paradise.
REFLECTING UPON OUR LIVES
- What are some of the key ironies of your life?
- How has the truth of Scripture influenced you while you were struggling through hard times?
- Consider these Bible resources: Daily promises Bible Promises
CONNECTING WITH THE WAY WE DO CHURCH
- Describe a time when a church made a big difference in your life.
- In what way do you try to make a difference in people’s lives amidst the ministry of this church and the ironies in their lives?