March 4 – Chronological Life of Jesus Day 45
Our readings in Luke this week have been parable heavy. Jesus used these parables to teach his disciples, to more easily pass on the stories in oral tradition, and to fulfill the prophecy that the people would be ever hearing but never understanding. My Bible notes that Luke tells 18 parables that are not recorded in the other gospels. Plus, Luke’s parables tend to focus on people (i.e., Good Samaritan, lost son, money manager, etc.), while Matthew’s parables emphasized the kingdom. Through parables, Jesus was able to simply address some tough subject matter.
READ: Luke 18
The parable of the persistent widow in verses 1-8 makes me laugh! Does God view me as annoying when I pray the same prayers night after night? That’s the comparison that Jesus is making in the parable, but I don’t think the unjust judge’s reaction is comparable to my God. He knows what I’m thinking, but He still wants me to verbalize my prayers as part of growing my relationship with Him. He wants me to pray what’s on my mind and in my heart. Verse 1 says Jesus told this parable so the disciples would know that they should always pray and never give up. Have you given up on any prayers? I have. I’ve given up praying for salvation or rescue for a couple people, though I used to pray for them every day. Funny, I don’t remember reading this before–this application that Luke so clearly spells out in verse 1. God, I hear You!
The next parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector in verses 9-14 also makes me laugh with the picture painted perfectly of the Pharisee who thinks he’s better than everyone else. That is until I realize how often I’ve been that Pharisee. I can recall several times sitting in church and pointing fingers at everyone the sermon applied to except me. Ouch. My pastor mentioned this same thing in his sermon on Sunday. Coincidence? I think not. God, I hear You, again! Time to be humbled.
The rest of Luke 18 is also covered in our readings in Matthew 19 and Mark 10 this week. Jesus’ teachable moments in the rest of this chapter reveal a couple of things about the Kingdom of God. In verses 16-17, Jesus says that we have to receive the Kingdom of God like children to enter into it. Similarly, Matthew 18:4 says we need to humble ourselves like a child to be great in the Kingdom of God. Faith, religion, belief can seem complex, but that’s because my lens is the view of a 37-year old who wants to question everything and believe only what I can see. Children believe what you tell them, things like Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy, without having to touch and see. A child doesn’t have to knowingly humble himself; instead, humility is just part of being a child, wanting to be led by a parent or a teacher. In verse 25, Jesus says, “…it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the Kingdom of God.’” The crowd’s reaction is the same as mine—how in the world can anyone get to heaven? But Jesus has given us an awesome promise in verse 27: “…’What is impossible with men is possible with God.’” I’ll never get to heaven by trying really hard to get there on my own. Only when I humble myself before God and am with Him can I get to heaven.
I should always pray and never give up, humbling myself before You.
You are awesome, God! Time and time again, You have been faithful in answering my prayers. This week You answered my prayers about opening my ears, physically from this persistent head-cold, but You have doubly blessed me in opening my ears to Your Word speaking to me too. Thank You! Help me also to be faithful in praying for those who are lost, to never give up. Please forgive me for the times I’ve let my pride get in the way of learning from You, and help me humbly to submit to Your lead in life.
Posted on March 4, 2015, in Uncategorized and tagged Bible, Bible Study, children, chronological gospels, gospel, humble, Jesus, Kingdom of God, Luke, parable, prayer. Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.