08 March 2012

Jesus Teaches There's Never a Wrong Time to Love

James Tissot
Luke 13:10-17

How many times have we come across this scene so far?  Jesus is walking, teaching, etc... Jesus comes to someone or someone comes to Jesus in severe need.  Jesus miraculously meets their need.  Religious leaders don't praise God.  Instead they criticise the person healed and Jesus for doing this on the wrong day.  And any reader with a heart is left to wonder if anyone can truly have that kind of reaction.

So, what is the Lord trying to teach me in this account?

If you want to really grasp what God is telling you through His Word; if you really want to know what the Spirit-inspired writers are trying to emphasize, the key is context, context, context. 


07 March 2012

Jesus Wants Fruit

Luke 13:6-9


Jesus tells us not to be concerned about being burned at the stake or having our bodies dismembered and scattered to the four corners of the kingdom.  As we saw in the previous teaching, Jesus wants us to focus on life and not death.

And in beginning our focus on life, Jesus wants us to repent.  To stop, confess, ask forgiveness and walk in the opposite direction than the one we did before.

So the natural question is, "How do we know we are doing that? How do we know we are doing what God requires of us?"  The Master Teacher illustrates his point with a story.

06 March 2012

Jesus Doesn't Care How We Die, Only How We Live

The Tower of Siloam, Tissot
Luke 13:1-5

Odds are each of us will experience death.  Yet, it seems circumstances of death fascinate us more than others.  If a commercial plane crashes, there's round the clock coverage.  If someone dies in an automobile accident, there's a mention on the news.  If a middle-aged man dies from a heart attack in his living room, it goes unnoticed by those who didn't know him.

Times haven't changed much.  It seems the 1st century Jews had the same biases.  People wanted to know Jesus' opinion on Pilate punishing enemies of the state by not only executing them but by using them as examples for would-be future outlaws by mixing their blood with sacrifices.

Apparently, not only did such deaths have the community's attention but this religious culture drew the conclusion that for God to allow such a death would mean that a person subject to this kind of death was a special kind of sinner that had to be forsaken by God.

This is obvious because of Jesus' response to the people's reports.  "Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners because they suffered this way?"  Then he voluntarily brings up the tragedy of the Tower of Siloam in Jerusalem when eighteen people died.  And answers the same way.

His message and lesson from the peoples' fascination with such kinds of deaths?

But unless you repent, you too will all perish.

There's that word again.  Jesus tells all within the sound of his voice time and again, "Repent".  If we are spending any time worshipping anyone or anything else besides The Lord God, we need to stop, confess, turn around and start worshipping the Lord God only.  If our lives are spent pursuing created things instead of the Creator, we need to stop, confess, turn around and start pursuing the Creator.

According to Jesus, dying is easy.  Everyone does it.  Living is hard.  Because He knows not everyone will do that.