What did I learn about Jesus?
- Jesus taught his disciples the basics of how to pray (verses 2-4).
- Jesus has harsh words for religious people who do everything on the outside right, morally and to the letter of the law but who don’t do acts of love, particularly “be generous to the poor” (verses 39-54).
What did I learn about disciple-making?
- Jesus invites me to boldness in prayer (verses 9-13).
- What we look at is critical to growing light or darkness (verses 33-36).
Extended thoughts and observations from Pastor Mark:
A few things jump out at me in this chapter.
-v 13 Luke, whose gospel focuses on the poor and on the Holy Spirit alters Matthew’s teaching a bit when he says that the Father in heaven will give the “Holy Spirit” to those who ask him. It makes me think, “How often do I pray for more of the Holy Spirit?”
-26 The emphasis on the Holy Spirit returns when he teaches on exorcism. Apparently, if an evil spirit is ordered out of someone and the Holy Spirit is not invited in to fill the place vacated, the spirit can return with more of his “friends” and the victim ends up worse than before. Nature abhors a vacuum. So does the spiritual world, apparently. We need to invite the Holy Spirit to fill every vacant part of our lives.
And then, the woes. Only 6 for Luke compared to Matthew’s 7. I really looked at them this morning. They are divided, three woes against the Pharisees (the ones who sought to live out every single Jewish law) and because the stupid scribe dared to speak up in verse 45, Jesus turns his attention to the Scribes, too (“experts in the law” is Luke’s synonym for “scribes.” The scribes interpreted and “made up” all the laws; the Pharisees tried to abide by them).
The Pharisees tithe every little thing (NOTE…Jesus says they SHOULD be doing that! So Jesus DOES teach about the tithe).
- But they neglect the weightier things of justice and love. Woe.
- The Pharisees love being big shots: the best seats and greetings in public. Woe.
- The Pharisees are like hidden graves; people become unclean just by being near them. Woe.
And then, the Scribes.
- Scribes heap religious burdens on people and don’t care enough about them to help with them. Woe.
- Scribes build tombs to “honor” the prophets but they are continuing the rebellion that caused their forefathers to kill the prophets in the first place. Woe.
- Scribes, who should be the ones with the understanding to see that Jesus is the fulfillment of scripture, DON’T see it and don’t help their followers to, either. Woe.
Whoa… that’s a lot of woes. I am asking myself in what ways I risk being guilty of receiving Jesus scorching words…