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Category Archives: Luke

Luke 24 – “I Promise I Am Not a Ghost”

There is so much to say here about the resurrection, the resurrected body of Christ, and the time he spent with his followers.  Here’s some highlights:

The Resurrected Body of Jesus

We see here that Jesus becomes the first person to receive their resurrection body.  Luke does his best to describe to us what Jesus is like after his resurrection.  In some ways he has a very physical body.  He can be touched, can break bread, and eats food.  He even bears the scars of his human flesh.  And yet his physical body has changed enough that two of the disciples don’t recognize him on the road.  But then his body is very spiritual.  He appears to the disciples to be a ghost, can disappear from a dinner table, and can suddenly appear in a crowded room.  The only thing that seems clear is that Luke is using the best words and tools that he has to try to describe to us something that is entirely new.  It is physical, but in a different way.  It is spiritual, but in a different way.  It’s new and it is difficult to describe, but it was life-changing to encounter.

(Doubting) Thomas and Friends

Luke doesn’t give us the full story of Thomas showing up late to the party with a personal story of doubt and disbelief.  What I love is that we constantly critique Thomas for his doubt because he insisted that he be able to touch Jesus’ hands and feet.  In Luke’s account, the entire group of Apostles and disciples is still in such disbelief after seeing the hands and feet that Jesus has to eat something in front of them to prove he’s not a ghost.  “Seriously.  I promise you I am not a ghost.  Can a ghost eat food?  Watch this….I’m eating the food.  See…I’m Jesus and I am not a ghost.”

Wait…the Prophets say Jesus had to Die?

One of the more troubling conversations that occurs over and over and over again throughout the Gospels is Jesus telling the Apostles he is going to Jerusalem to die to fulfill prophecy, only to have them either ignore him or misunderstand.  Here, the prophecy has been fulfilled and they have completely forgotten all of those conversations.  How is this possible?  The only thing I can think of like this today is the advice that every adult gives to every teenager: “Be careful who your friends are.  It can make your life great or terrible.”  Then every teenager fails to hear, thinks they know better, or ignores it.  Sometime later they look back and realize this lesson on their own and think, “I had no idea.  I only wish I had known.”  Then they become an adult and start giving this advice to teenagers.  The problem is that we are so sure that adults are mistaken or the concept is just so difficult we presume it false for that reason alone.  The Apostles apparently did the same thing every time Jesus foretold his death or explained the prophets.
The Difference the Resurrection Makes

At the beginning of this chapter the followers of Jesus are hiding, huddling, confused, scared, and not sure what to do.  By the end of it they are constantly worshiping in the Temple.  Remember that they were hiding from those who killed Jesus, the Jewish leaders and the Romans.  The last place you go if you are scared of those groups is the Temple.  But everything has changed.  Jesus is LORD and he has conquered sin and death.  So why be afraid of those who couldn’t kill Jesus and can’t kill you?  When you follow the one who has defeated death, those who hold power through fear lose their power.  This is the victory that suddenly belongs to all of those who proclaim the name of the Resurrected LORD, Jesus of Nazareth.  And now he invites each of us to share in this victory forever.  Have you joined in this victory or are you still afraid?

This concludes our discussion on Luke.  If there was something about Luke or our discussions on it that challenged you or that you particularly enjoyed, share it on the comments.  We will start with Luke’s sequel, the book of Acts on Monday, since Friday is a “Hot Topic” day.  

 
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Posted by on May 10, 2012 in Luke

 

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Luke 23 – King of the Jews?

Luke 23

Is Jesus the King of the Jews? How big of a threat is he to the ruling authorities? Is this another “would be messiah” who is going to try and lead a rebellion against the Romans?

Pilate and Herod, newfound best friends, find Jesus to not really be much of a threat and try to set him free. Herod, the current “king of the Jews,” is not too concerned and is excited to see Jesus because he hoped to see some cheap party tricks. When this alleged king didn’t have anything to say or do they mocked him and sent him back wearing the robes of a king.

The people quit arguing and simply started shouting, “Crucify him!”

As Jesus is being led away he makes an interesting comment, “For if the people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?” N.T. Wright, in his “For Everyone” commentary, points out that this is one of Jesus’ darkest sayings but if we can find our way into the heart of the meaning of it then we will have a better understanding of what he thought the cross was all about.

Anyone who has built a fire knows that dry wood is what is needed for burning. Rebel leaders who are causing riots in the streets and trying to overthrow Rome are the dry wood ready for burning. Jesus is not this kind of wood. He, the green wood, is on a mission of peace and repentance, a mission about God’s reconciling kingdom for Israel and the nations. If they are willing to do this to him, the green wood, how much worse will their actions be to those rioters who are looking for excuses to create violence and mayhem? If the Romans are willing to crucify the prince of peace, what will they do to people who genuinely are trying to overthrow Rome? Jesus knows the kind of death he is dying as a holy revolutionary and he stops to tell these women to weep for themselves because things are going to get a lot worse.

Luke contrasts the two criminals in order to show the contrast in what is going on in this situation. Jesus is bearing the sins of many. He is making the sacrifice for all people though he is being executed as a criminal and a rebel. Those around him are mocking him and even one of the criminals mocks him. The other criminal brings reality to the situation. He provides the reader with context as to what is going on.

Jesus invites the criminal on the cross to Paradise with him. In Jewish thought, paradise wasn’t necessarily the final resting place, but the place of rest and refreshment before the gift of new like in the resurrection.

Jesus gives up his spirit into the Father’s hands. It is not taken from him! The curtain in the Temple is torn in two, representing the judgment that will come on the city, the system and the Temple itself that has rejected Jesus and his kingdom message.

The centurion gives witness to Jesus being a righteous man. This is slanted a bit from Mark’s declaration of Jesus being “God’s son” by the centurion. Luke is emphasizing Jesus’ innocence, which he has been doing all along. This way, no educated Roman can comment that if the Roman justice executed someone then they must have had a good reason.

Jesus has died on Friday, which is the last day of creation. The next day is the Sabbath, Saturday, the Day of Rest at the end of creation. We will see this a lot more clearly in John’s Gospel but I wanted to point this out because of the powerful implications. Jesus is then resurrected on Sunday, the first day of the week, the first day of the New Creation.

 
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Posted by on May 9, 2012 in Bible in One Year, Luke

 

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Luke 22 – The Lonely Supper

The Lonely Supper

 

 

 

 

 

 

Da Vinci’s Last Supper is famous for so many reasons, but it paints a picture of one of the most famous meals in history.  Reading this chapter today, I was struck by how completely disappointed Jesus must have been in his followers in these last days.  One of his followers has had “the accuser” enter him and turn him into the betrayer, ready to turn Jesus in for some cash.  Then Jesus celebrates the Passover with them, telling them that he is the new Passover.  Just as God used the Passover to free his people from Egypt, God will use what Jesus is about to experience to bring an even greater freedom to His people.  As Jesus is revealing this to his Apostles, they change the topic to an argument about which will be greater in the Kingdom.  I wonder if Jesus worried that it would all be for naught if the Apostles couldn’t grow up and figure it all out once he was gone?

Then, with one Apostle a traitor and the others bickering, Jesus confronts his close friend Peter with the denials that are about to occur.  When you actually look at the context of Peter’s denials, they are perfectly reasonable statements to make.  After all, admitting he knows Jesus might get him on a cross too and that’s not good for anybody.  But after everything he has seen Jesus do, there is no excuse for his responses and when his eyes meet Jesus’…I can’t even imagine what that felt like.

On the Mount of Olives Jesus asks his disciples to pray with him and meets nothing but loneliness and disappointment again.  Jesus has to know that once he is arrested it will be an entirely lonely road he will travel.  He has to go the path to the cross alone.  The disciples have to live.  If the disciples don’t make it then everything was meaningless.  They are the future of the church.  But the loneliness didn’t start with the arrest.  It’s at the Last Supper, the Mount of Olives, and is a part of every relationship we see.

Random Thoughts

I need to include a few random thoughts from this passage.  First, how do you proceed to arrest the man who just put your ear back on?  This boggles my mind.  Second, I absolutely love what Jesus says to his accusers when they chose to arrest him in secret at night away from the crowds, “But this is your hour — when darkness reigns.”  Ouch.  Third, pay attention what Jesus get’s accused of.  He is arrested and convicted for saying he is the son of God.  This is only illegal if it isn’t true.  If it’s true…you’re killing the Messiah.

All in all, this is an extremely difficult time for Jesus.  We always think about the pain of the cross, the abandonment after his arrest and the betrayal and denial.  But we don’t think as much about the little failures that might have hurt the worst.  They couldn’t stay up even an hour to pray with him.  At the Last Supper he has to settle arguments and bickering about things that don’t even fit anything Jesus has ever told them.  The greatest act of sacrifice and love was what Jesus did on the cross.  But another one of the most difficult things Jesus ever did was trust this group of guys, who kept messing up, that when the time came they could change the world for Christ.

I have to think that God feels this way about me sometimes.  Some days I am the idiot arguing about where I get to sit at the Passover meal or falling asleep when asked to pray.  But other times I am the one who teaches the Ethiopian in the chariot or the crowd at Pentecost.   What’s so great is that God still trusts in a goof like me to make sure his Kingdom is lived out in this world.  That is a pretty big responsibility and a pretty high honor.  I hope to prove myself worthy.

 
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Posted by on May 8, 2012 in Luke

 

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Luke 21 – Not Quite the End of the World

When you start talking about the end of times, people tend to perk up and listen. If we can decode this passage, we can somehow unlock the mystery of the end of time and predict when everything will take place. For generations it seems as though some of these passages have been quoted and applied to what is going on at the time. In this section, verse 6 provides the context for everything that is about to be talked about.

Jesus lets his followers know that there will be times of suffering and waiting for these things to happen. They should be prepared for this to happen. When they see Jerusalem surrounded by the Gentile armies, they should flee to the mountains (20-24). He’s telling them to not have national pride when these events take place. They are to get out while there is still time.

When this time comes, there will be vast changes in the land. Chaos and fear will reign. Nothing will seem settled much like the roaring and tossing of the sea (25-26). “They will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory” (27). This verse is often thought of literally in that Caesar might look out his window to see Christ coming down in the clouds. This must be understood as the fulfillment of the prophecy of Daniel 7, one of the most popular prophesies of that day. This passage speaks of a time when God’s true people will be vindicated after having suffered at the hands of the pagan oppressors, the “beast.” The image in the prophesy is of a courtroom scene where God, as the judge, rules in favor of his people, “The son of man,” and against the oppressor, “the beast.” At this final judgment, the pagan nations will fall and the vindicated “son of man” is then brought on a cloud to share the throne of God himself!

The best way to interpret this passage is to see that when Jerusalem falls and is overthrown because they have opposed Jesus’ message, Jesus and his people will be vindicated, the sign that Jesus has been enthroned at his Father’s side in heaven (As we read last Thursday in 20:42-43). Does this mean that the Second Coming isn’t going to happen? No! Luke still believes in the Second Coming (Acts 1:11). It just means that this passage is not about that. This passage is about the vindication of Jesus and the rescue of his people from the system that has oppressed them.

What does this passage say to us today? God’s Kingdom has come near but God’s city has rejected it. The fulfillment of the Kingdom will involve the destruction of the Jerusalem, which will take place within a generation. As we live out and preach the gospel, bringing about the Kingdom of God, the world will often reject its message as Jerusalem rejected the Kingdom message when Jesus brought it. We have the duty to warn those around us of the destruction that comes with rejecting God’s invitation to be part of His Kingdom. We must continue to practice patience till these things come to pass, knowing that it is our God who is on the throne no matter how bad things seem to get before all of this comes to pass.

 
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Posted by on May 7, 2012 in Bible in One Year, Luke

 

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Luke 20 – A Game of Riddles

Can you imagine living in a country where people were constantly arguing about how to interpret founding documents, laws and the spirit of the law?  You would have leaders who told you how to behave or not behave based on their strict or loose interpretation of the law.  People would always be arguing and trying to win people to their side so they could be more powerful.  And yet, nothing ever seemed to get done?  Sound familiar?  Well it was that way during Jesus’ lifetime too.  The religious and legal authorities constantly bickered and “played the game” to make themselves look good and others look foolish.  In this chapter, Jesus is brought into the game.

The Authority of Jesus Questioned

After cleansing the Temple, the religious leaders want to know by whose authority Jesus is teaching and acting.  He knows that it’s all part of the game and that they are trying to walk him into a trap.  So instead, Jesus responds with a riddle of his own, asking them about John the Baptist.  They know that this too is a riddle and a trap and refuse to answer.  And Jesus simply responds, if you don’t play the game then I’m not going to play the game.

Parable of the Talents

Jesus then takes this opportunity to blast these religious leaders for playing these games and for what they are about to do with God’s son.  Anytime in Luke’s Gospel that a parable is about a master/ruler and tenants/servant then think God and Israel.  In this case, Jesus points out that the leaders of Israel that God intended to care for his people have instead killed his messengers, the prophets and now they want to kill his son.  The text indicates that he wanted everybody to know exactly who he meant as he stared directly at them as the story reached its climatic moment.  The accusation that they were responsible for killing the prophets and would soon kill him made them so mad that they immediately wanted to arrest him.

More Traps and Riddles

So as the Pharisees and the Teachers of the Law leave Jesus after this confrontation, they stand at a distance and send spies in to try to continue their game of riddles and traps.  This time they are trying to stay far enough away to be out of range for Jesus’ comments.  They try to trap Jesus with a question about taxes, but Jesus knocks it out of the park and renders his questioners silent in awe.

Then the Sadducees decide they will take a turn at the game and step up with a question about marriage in the resurrection (which they didn’t believe in).  Jesus essentially replies with a two part response.  First, our bodies will be different in the resurrection, mostly in that there will no longer be any death.  Without death, the need to carry on one’s family line disappears and we will become “like the angels” in that we will no longer need sexual relations.  Relationships will still exist, but they will be different than we currently experience.  Secondly, Jesus uses an argument from Exodus that God is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, which indicates that they are living in the resurrection life and that this proves that there is a resurrection.

Jesus then turns on them with a question of his own about David’s son being the Messiah which they can’t answer, but we know points to Jesus.  Finally, the chapter ends with Jesus blasting the teachers of the law.  It’s almost as if to say, “I’ll play your dirty little game.  In fact, I will beat you at it to show you I can.  But then I will condemn you in front of everybody for oppressing so many with your petty arguments and excessive regulations.”  Jesus better be careful.  To many more comments like that against people in power can get a guy…killed.

So the question is, do we still do this today?  Are there times that we let the religious battles and desire to be “more right” than the other Christians over there get in the way of serving God and others the way we are supposed to?

 
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Posted by on May 3, 2012 in Luke

 

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Luke 19 – The Son of Man Came to Seek and Save What Was Lost

Luke 19

Zacchaeus

The Son of Man came to seek and to save what was lost. While everyone stood back criticizing him for being a guest of sinners, Jesus made a saint out of one of the most despicable men in the eyes of his peers.

The Son of Man came to save what was lost. To redeem what was broken. To right what is wrong in this broken creation. Zacchaeus’ natural response to the presence of Christ was to right the wrongs that he has made. What is our natural reaction to the presence of Christ?

Ten Minas, Triumphal Entry, Temple Cleansing

The man of noble birth is God (Jesus coming as King).

The ten servants are Israel.

God left Israel when the Temple was destroyed and they were sent into exile. Their expectation was for God to come back and fill the Temple again, restoring their identity as the Kingdom of God, and to sit on His throne again. This parable really leads into the next two major events in this Gospel. This parable is foretelling of what will happen when Jesus is rejected as King.

Jesus then enters the city triumphantly as the King. I’ve heard people ask the question “How did the people quickly go from exalting him as king and to wanting him crucified?” Luke’s Gospel points out that it is Jesus’ disciples that are exalting him as king. This is a different group than the ones who are shouting crucify later. During that time it was a normal practice to meet the king outside of the city when he has come in from conquering, and to sing his praises while you parade into the city together.

The Pharisees want Jesus to rebuke his disciples for singing his praises. They have acclaimed him as King! Jesus’ response to them is that if his disciples are quiet then the stones will cry out that he is King. Jesus hasn’t come out and said he is the Messiah, the King, or God. He hasn’t denied the proclamations. Even more so, he is telling stories of God’s return and then going and doing only what God could go and do. He enters the city as King and goes straight to the Temple to cleans it and bring his presence there.

Before entering Jerusalem, Jesus wept over it because of the destruction that would come because of their rejection of him as King. I have often wondered how things would have been different if the Jews had recognized everything Jesus was doing and proclaimed him as King. I think Jesus still would have died but it would have been at the hands of the Romans and not through the Jews. What kind of presence would the Kingdom of God have if His people had recognized His return?

The reality is, this is not the way it turned out. What we do have is the presence of the Kingdom of God in us as the Body of Christ, the Church. What will we do with it? Will we establish His Kingdom by going into the world and follow the Son of Man’s leading, “to seek and save what was lost”?

 
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Posted by on May 2, 2012 in Bible Blog, Luke

 

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Luke 18 – Jesus, a Man of the People

This chapter really shows just how much Jesus’ ministry revolved around the people he came in contact with.  He isn’t a religious leader who sits in an ivory tower coming up with lessons and moral teachings to place on people.  Jesus walks among the people, listens to them, touches them, knows them.  He responds to their faith, their questions and their failures.  He’s real.  We see Jesus interact with two different types of people in this chapter.  There are people who recognize that they need God and need a Savior and who are willing to ask.   Then there are those who are self-righteous.  Jesus responds very differently to the two groups.

Those Who Ask

The parable of the unjust judge who finally responds to the persistent widow is not telling us that God is that like that.  But if an unjust judge will respond to the pleas of a desperate woman, how much more will your God who loves you respond to your needs?  It’s a beautiful question that shows that God is not the distant ruler we often think he is, but a compassionate Father who wants to give us what we ask.

We see Jesus responding this way to people throughout the chapter.  He tells of a tax collector who begs for God’s mercy and is shown grace and is exalted by God.  He places his hands on the children when their parents bring them to him, showing that he prayed for them and blessed them (we will be doing this on Mother’s Day at Northwest).  When those parents wanted Jesus to spend time with the “least of these” he did so gladly and even exalted faith-filled children as an example to other believers.  When a blind man cried out at the top of his lungs for Jesus to give him a minute and change his life, the crowds balked, but Jesus dropped everything to show the man mercy and reward his faith.  When people recognize their need for Jesus, he will respond.

Those Who Don’t (Because They Are Self-Righteous)

When a Pharisee prays and thanks God for how good he (thinks he) is, Jesus says that he is a fool.  If you don’t acknowledge your need for a Savior, it doesn’t mean you don’t need one.  It does mean you are farther from God than the tax collector who begs for mercy.  If you are a self-righteous rich man who insists that he has never broken the law of Moses, then Jesus will call you to a higher standard.  When that happens, the rich ruler is left standing there admitting that he has in fact violated the law by worshiping an idol of his own making, his wealth.

What Do You Need

What we see if that we all must admit that we need Jesus.  If we don’t know why we need him or how much we need him we will slip into the righteousness of the Pharisees and start to think that our own goodness can somehow save us.  So the question is, do you know why you need Jesus?  Because if you do, he will meet your need.  If you don’t, then Jesus will help you find your weakness.  So how does Jesus help you?

 
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Posted by on May 1, 2012 in Luke

 

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Luke 17 – Sin:Rebuke/Repent:Forgive – Natural Reaction of Worship – Don’t Get Taken

Luke 17

Sin = rebuke

Repent = forgive

How many times do we do this? Every time! This is a hard teaching. On the one hand, we grow tired of rebuking and resort to, “Well that’s just who they are.” On the other hand, after so many times of forgiving someone we adopt a cultural idea of, “Wrong me once, shame on you. Wrong me twice, shame on me.” The focus here is on restoration. When someone is off their mark we need to restore them. Sometimes restoring someone means we have to risk our relationships and our pride. Confronting someone often kills relationship but it can save their soul. We have to decide which we care more about, our relationship with them or their relationship with God. Constantly forgiving someone takes swallowing your pride and taking up your cross for that person.

A question that came to mind from this section, is our forgiveness for a person’s actions dependent on them repenting of it? Another way of asking…Is it possible to forgive too quickly?

In recognizing the sacrifice that comes with this kind of relationship with people, we stand with the apostles and say, “Increase our faith!”

Ten With Leprosy

“When we begin to glimpse the reality of God, the natural reaction is to worship him. Not to have that reaction is a fairly sure sign that we haven’t yet really understood who he is or what he’s done.” – N.T. Wright, Simply Christian – Chapter 11

This quote out of the book Simply Christian came to mind as I read the story of the man who returned to worship. In what ways have you been like the other nine, receiving the blessings but not having the natural response of worship? What does it take to become the one whose natural response is to worship?

Don’t Get Taken!

The Kingdom of God is within you (v21). You cannot see it but you can be part of it. You can take it with you. You can share it with others. The Kingdom of God in the end is what will be left when all is taken away. When the Son of Man comes, it will be like the flood taking away the evil from the world. When the Son of Man comes, it will be like the days of Lot, fire and sulfur rained down and took them all. When the Son of Man comes, don’t look back or you will be like Lot’s wife. Whoever tries to keep their lives will be taken but whoever freely gives up their lives will be left. When the Son of Man comes, those who are evil will be taken and those who are good will be left behind to inherit the earth.

The context of this passage says that you want to be “Left Behind.” – Sorry LaHaye and Jenkins!

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in Bible Blog, Luke

 

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Luke 16 – Shrewd Servant, Money and Inclusion

The Shrewd Servant

Welcome to one of the most difficult to understand parables that Jesus gives us.  Is Jesus commending a servant for abusing his position and taking financial advantage of his master?  I don’t think so.  It appears that the master is already carrying out some underhanded business practices.  Under the law, Jews were not to charge interest on loans, but often got around this by lending in kind, collecting extra commodities (oil and wheat) instead of interest.  If that is the case here then it’s possible the servant was reducing the debts to the original amount owed (the principle), so that the master couldn’t complain to anybody about the reduced amounts.

Even then, if the parable is about money then it’s still confusing at best.  Certainly we can assume that Jesus isn’t commending even somewhat shady financial principles or teaching about handling money.  Instead, we should always assume that when Jesus tells us a parable that includes a master and a servant that the master is God and the servant is Israel.  In this case, Israel has been a poor steward of all that God has entrusted to her and is about to be cast out.  The advice is to those listening, that they can either tighten their grip on control and rules and the law, or they can recognize the need for change in the last minute and take a chance by showing kindness to anybody who will accept it.  To aggressively pursue relationship over strict obedience to procedure is a virtue.

Faithfulness

After that parable are teachings about not serving money and divorce.  Much (and I mean much) can be said regarding these things, especially divorce, but in this context I simply want to say that God’s people were to be faithful.  Faithful in their business and financial dealings.  Faithful to God.  Faithful in marriage.

Rich Man and Lazarus

We all know a Lazarus.  He’s the guy with the cardboard sign.  The lady with the backpack.  It’s the orphan with the stomach bloated by hunger.  In our world we come across Lazarus so often that we can become blind to him.  We make excuses for our behavior and place the responsibility on their behavior.  We say we aren’t rich, but Lazarus would trade lives with us any day.

The story that Jesus tells here is a common one, even in Jesus’ time.  It wasn’t unusual to think that fortunes might be reversed in a future life.  What was unusual in Jesus’ story is that the rich man wasn’t allowed to go back and warn others.  Then, he wasn’t even allowed to send Lazarus back to warn his loved ones.  In this story, the rich man is like the older brother in chapter 15, who would like to keep the poor and the sinners outside, unseen, ignored.  But Jesus is inviting them in.  Jesus takes the standard idea that the poor and broken will be blessed in the distant future and brings that time into the present and makes it the responsibility of all of those who would be his followers.

The rich man and the older brother (Lk 15) wanted to keep the poor and sinful out of sight, out of mind. The shrewd servant threw caution to the wind in order to use land and money however he could to build relationships.  The Pharisees needed to let go of their preconceived ideas of money and self-righteousness and open their arms to people who had neither of those and that they should do it now, not at some distant point in the future.

The chapter ends with a powerful note of foreshadowing, “If they won’t listen to Moses and the Prophets then they won’t listen to somebody who rose from the dead.”  Oh how true that would prove to be.

 
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Posted by on April 26, 2012 in Luke

 

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Luke 15 – Who Is Your Younger Brother?

Luke 15

Jesus tells these three parables because he was throwing parties with all the wrong people. All three of these stories are saying the same thing in different ways, “This is why we’re celebrating!! Wouldn’t you have a party if it were you? How could we not?!” Through these parables, we get a clear picture of what Jesus thought he was doing. Jesus was celebrating with the worst people in the eyes of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law.

Here are the responses that Jesus was looking for in regards to these sinners: REJOICE! CELEBRATE! BE GLAD!

When we get to the parable at the end the question is often asked, “Which brother are you?” While I think that can lead to some convicting conversations, I want to ask a different question that I feel like Jesus is getting at. You are the older brother, what group(s) of people have become the “younger brother” for you? Homosexuals? Pedophiles? Muslims? Ex-Convicts? ________Race?

There are groups of people that I am honestly not comfortable around and I look at how Jesus connects with people and if I’m desiring to be like Christ I have to ask him to break down those walls in my heart. We have to love how Christ loves. This does not mean that we accept sinful lifestyles as though they were ok. What it does mean is that we are called to meet these people where they are to then bring them to Christ.

This is honestly a very hard reflection for me, but one that needs to be taken on. Let’s start celebrating some victories!

 
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Posted by on April 25, 2012 in Bible Blog, Luke

 

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