My daily Bible Reading has been massively enhanced over the last couple of weeks as I have added a parallel reading of Tom Wright’s excellent New Testament for Everyone series. So as I read through Luke’s gospel it’s a treat to have a simple yet profound commentator alongside you adding depth and richness to the reading that comes from decades of scholarly and pastoral work. Here’s an example:

“With trust in God on the one hand, and the desperate nature of the battle on the other, Jesus’ followers must stand by him. Loyalty must be total. Whatever happens on earth has its counterpart in heaven, and those who think to gain temporary earthly advantage by short-term disloyalty may find that whispered denials are broadcast far and wide. However, those who trust God will find that even if they are put on trial for their allegiance to Jesus they will be given words to say. God’s own Spirit will teach them as and when they need it – which is not, of course, an excuse for poor preparation in a regular teaching ministry, but a sure promise for those who find themselves in sudden danger because of their loyalty to the kingdom.”

“Loyalty must be total,” Wright insists helpfully to us who know very little of this forgotten virtue. Look at the rate at which Christians change churches as an example of this. Consumerism, individualism and a post-modern liberty has eroded our ability to be loyal. With God we cannot live otherwise as Wright underlines,

“Loyalty, then, is required for disciples, not only when the Twelve were following Jesus on the road but when we, today, take it upon ourselves to enlist under his banner and follow where he leads. Luke 12 is a standing rebuke to all casual, halfhearted, relaxed Christianity. The warnings about dangerous foes, and the promise that our God knows and cares about the smallest details of our lives, combine to challenge us to dedicated, single-minded discipleship.”