Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Luke 21

Summary: Jesus continues His time in the temple, this time talking about the many things that will happen in the future.

Response: I'll be honest: I gloss over prediction/prophecy/revelation stuff. It's just, I know it's going to happen at one point, but nobody knows the right time or date. So why bother? I guess that, for some, it's nice to know that everybody will get their just reward at the end, though I'd counter-argue that that's less faith than assurance at that point. And, again, it's not that I'm not looking forward to it all, but we have to live life with love now, not hit pause and wait for the end of the level.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Luke 20

Summary: Jesus, in the main temple of Jerusalem, gets worked over by the religious elite with the most controversial scenarios they can think of. He answers them in public in such a way that they not only can't take him to court, and can't pull the people's support for him, but make themselves look foolish, too.

Response: Sometimes I guess I feel like Christians shouldn't have to endure questions about what-if scenarios and philosophical problems, but Jesus took them head-on.

Monday, November 28, 2016

Luke 19

Summary: Jesus finishes up with one more miracle and parable, each showing God's mercy to those who accept it. Then, Jesus fulfills prophecy by entering Jerusalem, popular by parade and tracking in the temple (for now, anyways).

Response: I know I am often as fickle as the people here. Lord, help me to slow down and seek You, that I might do Your will and further Your kingdom.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Luke 18

Summary: Jesus talks about status, shunning the wealthy and elite in favor of the humble and willing.

Response: There's this idea in Christian circles that God gives you the opportunity to grow when you ask for a certain character trait. Like you want patience and He gives you a situation to have to wait. It helps us to trust that He knows what He's doing, but it's scary. Even so, I hope God gives me opportunities to be humble, even if it means being humbled.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Luke 17

Summary: Jesus, through healings and parables, talks about responding to the promise of heaven.

Response: There's nothing weird like the last chapter; still, Jesus is talking way over everyone's heads, including mine. And we are to keep serving and to acknowledge kindness done to us as well as act kindly to others, even those who aren't kind in the first place. That sounds hard.

Monday, November 21, 2016

Luke 16

Summary: Through several parables, Jesus mainly talks about the permanence of consequences in choosing to serve oneself.

Response: But it's weird! I'm not sure I've ever read the shrewd manager one that started the chapter, and in between rebuking the Pharisees and his last parable, Jesus launches into a maxim about divorce.

Reading about the first one is a bit disappointing. Still, there's a bigger theme in the chapter about who you're going to serve. Go down swinging for your faults or try to make amends? Break a lifelong vow or honor it? Ignore need or act on it before it's too late? Who am I going to serve?

Friday, November 18, 2016

Luke 15

Summary: Jesus, accused of surrounding himself with the wrong crowd, tells three stories about people who rejoice at what is found after being thought lost.

Response: There are a great many ways to place oneself in these stories; you could be the item found, and need that saving even before you think you deserve it; you could be the extras in the story, praising God when someone is saved; and you could even be the older brother, a big grump about God's grace. I'm hoping for the second, but I know I fall into the first and third very often.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Luke 14

Summary: Jesus, at a party, talks about status in His Kingdom, to accept humble placement and invite even the lowest to one's own party.

Response: I remember the McGee and Me short about the first part. It's the second part that gets me. I know I should be serving others and, to a certain extent, I know I am, but I want to be more active about it. With any grace, I'll be able to serve like that soon again.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Luke 13

Summary: Jesus makes a clear distinction between the powers of the world around Him and the affairs of His Kingdom, blessing those lost in tragedies, healing on the Sabbath, and denouncing a fruitless Israel and a prophet-killing Jerusalem.

Response: I have no idea who Jesus is referring to in the first story (though, after researching, it seems like some others don't either), but it sounded like they're trying to trap Jesus in theodicy (why good things happen to bad people). Jesus gives a non-answer, but really tries to get them to understand they need to worry about themselves, at least a bit. So, helping yes, but judging no. Sounds simple...

Monday, November 14, 2016

Luke 12

Summary: Jesus speaks of what should and should not worry us, focusing less on money or status on earth and more on building goodwill and blessings for heaven.

Response: Jesus really is going after people, a very "you know you've stood for something when people oppose you" kind of moment. Would that I could be so bold.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Luke 11

Summary: In Jesus's continued ministry, He pushes hard at conventions of the world, preferring talks about prayer and heavenly gifts to arguments about demons and dinner with the highest religious figures of His day.

Response: It's like He had to argue just to get people to stop thinking of themselves and their stuff and turn to heaven, even for a minute. And I know I'm guilty of the same. Lord, even in this busy day, fix my eyes on You.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Luke 7

Summary: Jesus works his way to a new town. He meets more underdogs that need help and praises their faith above their station.

Response: Lord, help me to push past my own biases, especially tomorrow! You loved all around You, and You call me to do the same.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Luke 3

Summary: Luke establishes historical, political, and spiritual context for Jesus, including a list of Roman rulers, the ministry of John the Baptist before Him, and his genealogy with such names as David, Jacob, Noah, and Adam.

Response: I believe Luke does this to catch everybody up. Romans will figure out when in the political scale He was there. New Christians can figure out His message, even if right now it's "don't be greedy." Lifetime Jews will trace his lineage, knowing full well the back half (at least) of that line. So Lord, help me to reiterate in my head: You are true.