25 Jan 2009

Quick Thoughts on Luke

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During my (attempted) daily Bible chapter reading, I finished Exodus the other day and just couldn’t bear to jump right into Leviticus. So, I decided to take a break by reading random chapters from the Gospels for a few days. I happened upon Luke 12 one night, and wow it is really just chock full of amazing stuff. You could write an essay on every two verses.

4 “And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. 5 But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

My church in Hillsdale once did a series on “What are you afraid of?” or something like that. And they interviewed people on the street who said stuff like, “Losing my job” or “dying” or other normal answers.

It didn’t surprise me that my pastor said you shouldn’t be afraid of those things. But what did surprise me is that he said, “You should have a healthy fear of God.” But it slowly sunk in that it made sense (and of course it was scripturally based). Just for purely psychological reasons: People are going to be afraid of stuff, just like “you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” So it’s good to focus that fear and anxiety towards wondering if you are pleasing to God, as opposed to wondering if you are pleasing your boss or your spouse or your parents. (And yeah yeah, I get it, if you are an atheist you think you don’t need to fear anything or serve anyone but yourself. I think you are mistaken. And since I believe Satan exists–though I know you don’t, and really, I do get it how hokey it sounds to you–you will be easy pickings for him.)

8 “Also I say to you, whoever confesses Me before men, him the Son of Man also will confess before the angels of God. 9 But he who denies Me before men will be denied before the angels of God.

This passage always makes me squirm because it reminds me of another occasion at Hillsdale when a group of people we would often hang out with, would start ripping Christianity (because a lot of the Powers That Be at Hillsdale made it easy to rip Christianity). I didn’t laugh, but I didn’t say anything either. Wuss. Some people go to the stake, and I am afraid of causing slight social awkwardness.

10 “And anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him; but to him who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven.

I’m still not really sure what to do with that one. But I make sure I don’t blaspheme the Holy Spirit! (Fortunately when I slip and take the Lord’s name in vain, it is either the Father or the Son.)

11 “Now when they bring you to the synagogues and magistrates and authorities, do not worry about how or what you should answer, or what you should say. 12 For the Holy Spirit will teach you in that very hour what you ought to say.”

That passage gives me goosebumps.

13 Then one from the crowd said to Him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”
14 But He said to him, “Man, who made Me a judge or an arbitrator over you?” 15 And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”

This one is fascinating. Assuming the translation is good, I think Jesus might be playing coy here, the way I think He is with the “render unto Caesar” response, or the “Why do you call Me good?” query. Because obviously Jesus is judge over them, and He was appointed so by God. So in context, it sounds like Jesus is saying that He isn’t the judge of the guy, but that’s not actually what He said.

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