Saturday, June 18, 2011

Luke 7-9

More Luke observations! :) This time it's chapters 7-9. I'll be finishing reading Luke next week with my group and we'll move on to Acts which will take a full month (until July 22). 

Soli Deo Gloria,

Luke 7
So many rich stories packed into such a short chapter! :)

I love the story of the centurion and seeing Jesus' amazement at his faith, faith beyond any that had been in Israel. The story of the raising of the widow's son is the same, for it must have taken great faith on her part to allow herself to hope that Jesus could do what he was saying. I am encouraged by the section about John the Baptist sending some of his followers to Jesus. Despite his doubts and needing that confirmation, Jesus still said "among those born of women there is no one greater than John." And yet the next part of that astounds me: "...yet the one who is the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he." I feel like John the Baptist would be pretty high up in the kingdom and Jesus said there was none greater, so to say that there are still others who will be greater still? Wow!

I remember reading the story of the sinful woman anointing Jesus' feet sometime in the past and my eyes being opened to the historical context of the whole thing. The fact that the Pharisee, Simon, had not offered Jesus water, oil or a welcoming kiss was a huge deal. It was basically a slap in the face since these were common courtesies that would have been provided for every guest in a Jewish home at that time. It was a huge snub but provided the perfect context for Jesus to present his parable to the man and honor the woman. "But he who has been forgiven little loves little."

Luke 8
I remember someone speaking on the parable of the soils a long time ago and it has since given me a new perspective on it. So often we concentrate on what the soils mean and who they represent, etc. But very little is usually said of the farmer that scatters the seed. The farmer didn't show discretion where he spread his seed and let it fall on all sorts of ground, fertile and not. Since the seed is the word of God, the farmer represents us and how we should be sharing the Gospel with those around us. Since we cannot tell the condition of another person's heart, we should share with as many people around us as we can, scattering our seed far and wide.

Quick side note: When Jesus healed the man of the legion of demons, he was expanding his ministry to include Gentiles. The fact that they were raising pigs in the area (and historical evidence from that region) indicates that the town was a Gentile town.

The woman with the issue of bleeding risked her very life to touch Jesus. She was considered unclean due to her bleeding and when Jesus publicly proclaimed that someone had touched him and asked who it was, admitting to the act placed the woman's life in danger. People who were unclean weren't supposed to even be allowed inside city limits. She risked everything for her faith and hope for a miracle. How much of myself do I forfeit just to reach out to Jesus in faith? Truthfully, not nearly enough.

Luke 9
There is a strange interlude in Luke 9 about Herod where, at the end, it says that Herod went to try and see Jesus. Nothing more is said of the matter as we move back to the disciples. I had a cross-reference note in my Bible to see Luke 23:8 so I *gasp* flipped ahead ;) It simply reiterates that Herod had been wanting to see Jesus for some time (I'll leave the rest for later). In the interim, I wonder how Herod made attempts to see Jesus. It's most curious (at least to me) :)

As for the disciples being sent out, I find their short-term memory glitch at the beginning to mirror my own sometimes. Here they had just reported to Jesus all they had done in preaching, healing and performing miracles everywhere and then can't seem to grasp that another miracle might be in order to feed the crowds or that they have the power to perform such a miracle. 

Several times in this chapter we are reminded of the high cost of following Jesus. He mentions taking up our cross, denying ourselves, losing our lives for/in Him, and leaving everything behind and not looking back. While following may have a high cost, the reward of knowing Christ is greater still. :)

No comments: