The Road to Emmaus

Tom Bast

READ : Luke 24:13-32 And their eyes were opened, and they recognized him. (v. 31) “We had hoped . . .” Are there any sadder, more poignant words recorded in all Scripture? Jesus’ death had scattered the disciples and shattered their hopes and dreams. The disciples were downcast. Everything they believed in had ended in gloom and defeat. They did not remember that Jesus had predicted his own suffering and death and beyond that, his resurrection. Nor his promise, “You …

Two Thieves

Tom Bast

READ : Luke 23:39-43 Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. (v. 42) The story of the penitent thief, like certain parts of the familiar Christmas story and the parables of the good Samaritan and the prodigal son, is found only in Luke’s Gospel. We can be very thankful that he included it. “Jesus, remember me,” prayed the thief, and how often has this penitent’s prayer become our own! But in truth we should see something of ourselves …

Persistence

Tom Bast

READ : Luke 18:1-8 And he told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart. (v. 1) We come again to a parable found only in Luke, the parable of the persistent widow. A parable has one main point, and Jesus’ point is that persistence in prayer pays off. The only thing to do, when our prayers don’t seem to be answered, is to double down and keep praying. There is no …

Gratitude

Tom Bast

READ : Luke 17:11-19 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits. (Ps. 103:2) We’re forgetful creatures by nature. Car keys, cell phones, birthdays, passwords, and the name of the person you just met five minutes earlier are all minor irritants when we forget them, but forgetting the goodness of God in our lives can have more serious consequences. Jesus healed ten lepers in today’s story, but only one remembered to thank him. I recently had …

The Prodigal Son

Tom Bast

READ : Luke 15:11-32 Son, you are always with me, and all that is mine is yours. (v. 31) This familiar parable features the wayward son, the waiting father, and the elder brother. Usually most of the attention is focused either on the dissolute son who comes to his senses, repents, and is welcomed back home by his father, or on the father himself who forgives his son and celebrates his return. But what about the elder brother? If we …

All We like Sheep

Tom Bast

READ : Luke 15:1-7 The sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. (John 10:3) Of all the biblical images for the human condition, one of my favorites is that of sheep. Sheep have a number of unsavory characteristics. They’re dirty, smelly, and often stubborn creatures. They have a mind of their own, and a tendency to wander off from the safety of the flock. But they have one remarkable attribute: they …