In Luke 15 the Pharisees despise Jesus because Jesus ate with sinners.
Jesus responds to this charge by telling three parables. (On this web site pointing to any Bible reference will give you a pop-up of the text.)
The rejoicing shepherd (Luke 15:4-7)
The rejoicing woman (Luke 15:8-10)
The rejoicing father (Luke 15:11-32)
These titles come from the “punch line” of each parable. They are in Luke 15:6, 9, 32.
Jesus also gave spiritual applications for the first two. Notice Luke 15:7, 10. He did not need to do it for the last one. It was now obvious.
The parables explain why Jesus ate with sinners.
These parables seem off topic. They talk about a lost sheep, coin and son. These are but a vehicle to carry the main point. Jesus ate with sinners to find those who are lost from the Heavenly Father. When Jesus finds them the Heavenly Father rejoices.
Those who are lost fall into three categories:
Those like the sheep who have innocently wandered away.
Those like the coin who through neglect or mishandling are now lost.
Those like the son who are in deliberate rebellion.
To find any of these requires being available to them. Out where they are not in some “holy huddle”.
Finding the innocent wanderers requires listening to their cry of distress and returning them “home”.
Finding the neglected or mishandled requires bringing light into their darkened world.
Finding the rebellious requires being ready and watching for their return from the mess they now experience.
Jesus ate with sinners shouldn’t we?
We like to eat with holy people and be seen in their company. But are we willing to eat with sinners? Do we want our Heavenly Father to rejoice? Do we look like Jesus or a Pharisee? More importantly, do we have the Pharisees’ attitude or Jesus’ attitude toward sinners?
Permanent link to this article: https://edifymin.org/jesus-ate-with-sinners/
Woe to those who work hard at sinning (rebelling against God).
They do this by telling (or you could even say commanding) God to:
Hurry up and fulfill the promises You made to our fathers!
We want to see if they are real.
Hurry up make Your purposes happen!
So we know what Your purposes really are. (Implying that they think He really does not have any.)
Isaiah 5 has a list of woes on those who cause problems in Israel. The third one is in Isaiah 5:18-19.The woe is on those who go around telling God hurry up.
They do this by making arrogant demands. These imperatives (the jussive form in Oriental languages) show that the person making the demand thinks that he is superior to God. Satan fell when he decided he would make himself like or superior to the Most High. (Isaiah 14:14)
When Satan temped Jesus in the wilderness one of the temptations was to “put God to the test”. That is see if God really will fulfill His promise that God would protect Jesus. Matthew 4:5-7
We also have a direct commandment not to put God to some test. See Deuteronomy 6:16 You can read about that incident Exodus 17:1-7.
How am I telling God hurry up?
There is an old saying that illustrates how we sometimes do that today. It goes “Lord I need patience, but hurry up!” We must be careful not to use prayer as a way to issues directives to God. Pray is not to cause our will on earth to be done in heaven but to bring us into to submission to living out heaven’s will while we are living on this earth. See Matthew 6:10
Recently I have found that too many of my prayers and the prayers that I hear are veiled attempts to get my will done in heaven. Yes we share our concerns with our Heavenly Father, but we do not command Him. It is fine to share our requests with our Father. The problem is when those request become demands. Let’s be careful to thank our Father for all the good things He does for us each day. When we do that then we will be less tempted to issue our demands that we think heaven should obey.
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“In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle” (2 Samuel 11:1) But that spring King David did not follow one of the cultural rhythms of his day. He stayed home in his palace. Bad idea. Notice the horrible chain of events that follow that one lazy indiscretion.
David’s Lustful Stare
Violating Cultural Rhythms Opens the Way for Major Sin
David stays home instead of going to war with his army like kings normally do.
At a lustful time of the day David spots a beautiful woman bathing.
He inquires about her. And learns that she is Bathsheba the wife of Uriah the Hittite. Uriah is one of David’s mighty men (2 Sam 23:39).
David has her brought into this house and rapes her. This is also adultery since David is already married.
She reports her pregnancy.
David brings her husband Uriah in from the war. He gets a report from Uriah about the success of Joab and army. He then encourages Uriah to go sleep with his wife. He also sent a present to their house.
Uriah refuses to sleep with his wife because the other men are in the field and at war. A sharp contrast to David at home violating Uriah’s wife.
The next morning Uriah explains his moral reason not to go home and sleep with his wife. Uriah even mentions that the Arc of the Covenant at the battle. (If the Arc, the localized presence of God, was in the battle why was King David not?)
The next day David get Uriah drunk at a banquet. Yet Uriah still refuses to sleep with his wife. (Yea Uriah!)
The next morning David writes a letter to Joab instructing him to make sure Uriah dies in the battle and suggests how to do it.
David sends Uriah’s “death warrant” to Joab in the hand of Uriah. (Uriah might not have known the contents of the message but that is still cruel.)
Joab follows David’s instructions. He puts Uriah in the hottest part of the battle and then withdraws from him.
The tactic works. Uriah and several others die in the skirmish.
Joab sends a messenger to David with a carefully planned two-part message. First that during a skirmish they got to close to the wall and the enemy archers killed several of us. The messenger is then to expect David to send a rebuke to Joab. After hearing the rebuke the messenger is to then report Uriah’s death. This does several things
It shows that Joab knew better than to get close to the wall.
It make David responsible for the all the deaths in that skirmish since David’s plan involved a group.
It makes David’s rebuke look silly. In effect David is rebuking himself.
The messenger does not follow directions. He gives both parts of the message without the break between them to allow David to respond to the first part. This defeats Joab’s intended purpose.
David sends an encouraging message to Joab. Of course he did. Joab just did David’s dirty work. David needed to thank Joab.
Bathsheba learns of Uriah’s death. She enters into mourning.
When the cultural period of mourning is over David adds her to his wives.
The out-of-wedlock pregnancy yields David a son.
(Summary) What David did displeased the Lord. (2 Samuel 11:27) It appears that David is not aware or is in denial about his transgression.
The Lord sends the prophet Nathan to David.
God has Nathan tell David about a man who was rich in flock and herds of sheep and goats.
He also details a poor man
He only has one small lamb, a female
He purchased the lamb
He carefully cared for the lamb
The lamb grew up with the poor man and his children
The lamb shares the poor man’s scant meals and drinks from the poor man’s cup
The lamb was like a daughter to the poor man
The rich man has a visitor
The rich man does not use his own wealth to serve the visitor a meal
The rich man took the poor man’s lamb and butchered it for the rich man’s visitor.
Nathan pauses and David pronounces his angry judgment. David says:
The rich man had no pity
The rich man must repay 4 time the value of the lamb (Exodus 22:1)
The rich man deserves to die
Nathan identifies the rich man as King David. “You are that rich man.” In effect, David has just pronounced judgment on himself. (Just like Joab attempted.)
Nathan relays God’s account of what He has done for David
I (God) made you king
I delivered you from Saul
I gave you Saul’s estate
I gave you Saul’s wives
I gave you rule over all the descendents of Jacob (Israel)
I planned to give you even more.
Nathan announces God’s evaluation
David’s family will always be at war
He has rejected the way of the Lord
He has taken Uriah’s wife to be his wife
Nathan announces God’s judgment on David
David’s family will do evil to David
David’s wives will be taken from him and he will see it.
They will be raped and everyone will know it
What David did in secret with be judged out it the open and in front of all Israel
David confesses his sin
Nathan assures David that the Lord removed his sin and that David will not die.
Because the Lord’s enemies now have reason to blaspheme
The child born as a result of David’s rape will die
The fulfillment begins:
The child get very sick
David demonstrates repentance
He prays to the Lord
He sleeps out on the ground
He refuses to be comforted and eat
Seven days later the child dies
David’s servants fear to tell him for fear he will harm himself
David guesses the child is dead
When this is confirmed David returns to normal life.
David questioned about his behavior
He fasted and wept in case the Lord might be gracious to David
Once the child died there was no need. The child will not come back to life
In time David will join the child in death
Another son, Solomon, is born to David through Bathsheba. Renamed “Beloved of the Lord” by Nathan
Joab captures Rabbah which he was sent to do at the beginning of this account
David goes out to claim the victory where he should have been at the beginning of this account
The rest of the judgments for David’s sin happen the following chapters. It is long and complex.
Cultural Rhythms and Us
Not all not all violations of cultural rhythms will result in this sort of mess.
All cultural rhythms are not necessarily good.
If a cultural rhythm violate love of fellow believers or is otherwise immoral then reject it.
Do not confuse culture and its rhythms with a belief that Jesus is God.
Some possible positive cultural rhythms
At the time of the year that citizens pay their taxes
At the season when extended families get together
At the time of year when men set up fish camp and set their nets for salmon
At the time of the year that housekeepers do an extra thorough job of cleaning
At the time of the year when truck farmers plant potatoes
At the time of the year when ranchers take their stock to the high country
At the time of the year when people winterize their summer cabins
Permanent link to this article: https://edifymin.org/cultural-rhythms/
Not long ago I got good tips on small group discipleship from the book Miraculous Movements by Trousdale. I love their suggestions on doing small group (house church) discipleship as a Bible study. Below is a simplified version of their suggestions that get to the core of the method.
When you go through a passage (the best thing) or a topic (second best) ask three questions.
What is God saying to us right now in light of what we have just seen in God’s Book?
What are we going to do about it? (You may need to ask “How?” to get to a practical (executable) application.)
With whom do we need to share these things?
If these questions do not seem to fit, then change how you are sharing this scripture. You may be just transferring technical facts. We need to approach God’s Book with a “life change,” or “character change” perspective.
When you meet next time start by asking
What did we see in God’s Book last time?
How did it go with doing the things we said we would do based on what we saw in God book? (answers to questions 2 and 3 asked last week)
Now let us learn new lessons from God’s Book.
Easy method. Profound results in people’s’ lives. (The method is close to the one given in the Miraculous Movements book. The book calls it Discover Bible Study.) What do you think?
Permanent link to this article: https://edifymin.org/small-group-discipleship-bible-study/
Luke 7:40-48 records Jesus’ use of situation to teach. He is at dinner with pharisee who failed to show him common courtesies. These include washing to dust off Jesus’ feet, giving a greeting kiss, and giving him oil to brighten his hair and face. These failures show he has no love for Jesus. By way of contrast, a woman of bad reputation has more than made up for these. (Be sure to read the entire passage by clicking on one of the links. That will display the passage in Biblia.com.)
A lesson from Luke 7:40-48
The self-righteous Show no love
The pharisees were known for being self-righteous. This pharisee’s failure to show common respect means he has no love for Jesus This lack of love shows his self-righteousness.Plant this truth deep in your heart. When you sense a lack of love check to see if you are being self-righteous. Sometimes saying no to a request is the best way to show love. You do not want to enable others bad habits. Being an enabler would not be loving.
Another lesson from Luke 7:40-48
The forgiven love
The one who forgave
The woman’s sins were forgive in the past. (Jesus used the perfect tense in verse 28 to show that.) Her acts of love toward Jesus reflect that forgiveness. When I am forgiven how do I respond? If I do not think I need forgiveness am I just being self-righteous?
God is the one who ultimately forgives sins. How can I express my love to Him? Maybe the best way is to show love to others people. Especially others who have also repented to God. Doing this is to fulfill the new covenant as expressed in John 13:34.
We can combine these lessons
The self-righteous show no love
The forgiven love the forgiver
Today let us not be like the pharisee in Luke 7. Let us be like the woman by showing love. Let us show love to God by loving other believers. Those who have been forgiven.
Permanent link to this article: https://edifymin.org/luke-7-self-righteousness-forgiveness-and-love/
David’s ethical standards in Psalm 101 sure caught my attention. I want to focus on another in Psalm 101:3
We can read the first line of that verse as
I will focus On nothing worthless
On what do I focus? What occupies my mind? To what do I pay attention? With what do I become involved? That focus or involvement may be physical, or visual, or even mental.
How many of these things are “worthless”? Are they morally objectionable, wicked or sinful? Maybe they are not directly wrong, but if they do not advance what is excellent then perhaps they are worthless.
As you ponder this truth, the Holy Spirit will bring to mind some trivial things you need to remove from your focus. A way to meditate on good things like this is to allow no other thoughts in your mind as you walk from place to place.
Technical Discussion of Psalm 101:3
A word for word “translation” of the Hebrew might be “Not will I set before my eyes thing worthless.”
The Holy Spirit has David use the Hebrew phrase “I will set before my eyes” three times in the book of Psalms (Psalm 26:3; Psalm 101:3; Psalm 101:7) “I will focus” rewords the Hebrew phrase “I will set my eyes.” It may mean to see physically. But here it is to focus upon or pay attention.
On nothing worthless
My moral code must come from Scripture. I may make this stricter based on the communities in which I live. If I offend my brother-in-Christ by some liberty which scripture allows, then I may limit my freedom to keep from hurting my brother. 1 Corinthians 8:1-10:33 discuss this in detail.
Psalm 99:8 summarizes a significant Old Testament pattern.
The LORD answers those That call upon Him He forgives them Yet corrects their sin
The LORD does answer when His people call out to Him. Those who cry or call out to him need to see themselves as totally dependent on Him: unable to fix this problem without Him. Sometimes it is sin that has caused their desperate situation. Their cry to the LORD is their repentance. Their repentance brings them forgiveness. To help them avoid that sin in future the LORD may avenge or correct them. He may have used their desperate situation as that correction. Or He may take them through yet another difficult experience to help them learn obedience.
Permanent link to this article: https://edifymin.org/psalm-99-the-lord-answers-forgives-and-corrects/
In Luke 7:36-39, 48-50 Jesus has dinner with a self-righteous pharisee. The pharisee’s self-righteousness shows in his judgmental attitude toward one of the by-standers. She is a sinner. She showers affection on Jesus. Why? From Luke 7:48 we learn of her earlier forgiveness. Her actions display her response to that forgiveness.
So here we see that –
The self-righteous still judge One who was forgiven
Some questions we might ask ourselves:
Do I ignore or even deny others forgiveness?
Do I criticize those who forgive?
Do I forgive?
Permanent link to this article: https://edifymin.org/luke-7-the-self-righteous-still-judge-one-who-was-forgiven/
Luke 7 29-30 is often skipped by the big fat books or they have conflicting things to say about it..
Here are some things about the narrator’s side comment in Luke 7:29-30
It interrupts Jesus’ speech that started in Luke 7:24. This interruption is unexpected. Therefore it is probably important. (A point we learn from Steven Runge’s discourse analysis.)
It contrasts the reaction to Jesus by two groups based on their acceptance of John’s baptism.
Common people and the despised tax collectors
Acknowledged God’s justice – Accepted the free and easy entry into the kingdom.
Accepted John’s baptism
Pharisees and Mosaic Lawyers
Rejected God’s purpose for themselves – As the spiritual leaders they should have been the first to receive John’s baptism and enter the kingdom
Rejected John’s baptism
“God’s justice” is probably that God made entry, into the kingdom offered by Jesus, available to all. It was not limited to “the righteous,” the wealthy, the “important,” or any other select group. This would show His justice.
This aside probably sets up Luke 7:31-35. It says that no matter what you do, the religious leaders will reject the humble repentance (wise action) called for the by the baptism of John.
It makes the religious leaders the unresponsive children in the market of verse 32 (Luke 7:32)
Luke 7:33-34 expands this idea
John is like the children who sing the dirge
Jesus is like the children who play the flute
The last line of Jesus’ speech (Luke 7:35) would then mean that common people and tax collectors of Luke 7:29 are the children of wisdom. The Pharisees and Mosaic Lawyers would by contrast be the children of ???? What a sharp but carefully worded correction.
Luke 7 29-30 Summary
I think you need the interruption in Jesus’ speech so that you can understand the rest of Jesus’ speech. Remember that the first readers of this account were probably Romans who would not know these details about the people in Jesus’ audience.
Permanent link to this article: https://edifymin.org/side-comment-in-luke-729-30/
In Luke 7:13-23 Jesus does the Godly deeds that the Old Testament predicted Messiah would do. However some people, especially the religious leaders take offense. They want others to think that they are the most direct link to God. Jesus does Messianic signs that show that He, a lowly person by material measures, is a much closer link to God. In fact He is the ultimate link to God.
We should do godly deeds
When we do godly deeds today some may take offense. Here are some possible reasons. They feel guilty because they are not the ones doing it. They despise the person to whom you minister and therefore despise you. To name just two.
Do not be surprised when this happens to you. If it happened to Jesus then it can happen to you. See John 15:18-21.
Here is a truth
Doing godly deeds May offend some
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