The Gospel text for this Sunday [Luke 7:18-28] is a helpful text to get an idea of this gospel account’s connection to Acts. In verse 19, the text relates that John the Baptist sends two of his disciples, not to Jesus, but to ‘the Lord’.
The first time the writer uses the word Lord to describe Jesus is just slightly earlier. In verse 13 of the same chapter, Jesus is called the Lord when he has compassion for a widow. It is hard not to see a connection to Jesus’ resurrection in this description, especially since Jesus is often called the Lord after that important event.
John the Baptist sent the disciples to ask Jesus this question: ‘Are you the one who is to come, or shall we look for another?’ The early Christians may have easily asked this question of Jesus. They may have been tempted to look to something else to ‘save’.
There is almost a constant temptation to look for another place for help, a place other than the words of the Lord. This is the struggle that you see in the book of Acts. Eventually the teaching of the Lord Jesus Christ is described as ‘unhindered(see Acts 27:48)’, but it takes a long time and a lot of work.
The struggle to look for something more than just words is also the struggle that you see in churches today. In Luke 6:46, the question is asked, ‘Why do you call me “Lord, Lord,” and not do what I tell you?’ That question applies to today.
The progression Jesus gives later in the text is wonderful (verse 22): the blind receiving sight, the lame walking, the lepers being cleansed, the deaf hearing, the dead being raised, and the final thing is that the poor have the good news preached to them. In the Gospel according to Matthew, the middle of the list is the important thing. In the Gospel according to Luke, the end of the list is the important item. And Jesus is putting this good news as something that is extremely important.
This good news continues to be important today.
And the series on the Small Catechism of Dr. Martin Luther continues this Sunday with a look at the Lord’s Prayer. The words of that prayer are also important.