Its our 5th full day of Lead Up. We arrived 6 days ago, nervous, expectant, full of energy and in some cases confidant.
After our “Strategic Adventure Day” Which I’ve decided to mention no more about publicly (don’t want to give any hints to next years trainees!) I think we are mostly now tired, tired, tired and in some cases less confidant.
So entering out next session I would have to say I’m expectant, we’ve learnt a lot about ourselves in the last 36 hours. We’ve found where we excel, where we need to work to improve our skills and how we work in a team.
That said, our last few days have been great teaching. However, I hope tonight to be better still.
A FEW HOURS LATER
Well, I’m not disappointed. That was one of the BEST messages I’ve ever received. Seriously, top 3 easy.
We read from Luke 14:1 ->Luke 15 V10
http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Luke+14&version=MSG Chapter 14
and on top of that, we referenced Chapter 15, Verses 11-32.
While we did have a lot to get through, it all ties together very well – or atleast Peter was able to present it in a well packaged bundle.
Our tool today was “looking at the words in context”
Which is why we read so much. More context.
The first point of call was Luke 14:12-14.
12-14Then he turned to the host. “The next time you put on a dinner, don’t just invite your friends and family and rich neighbors, the kind of people who will return the favor. Invite some people who never get invited out, the misfits from the wrong side of the tracks. You’ll be—and experience—a blessing. They won’t be able to return the favor, but the favor will be returned—oh, how it will be returned!—at the resurrection of God’s people.”
It served as our introduction
How do we know what these words mean?
Somehow, we seem to have some basic understanding, that Jesus doesn’t mean that it’s wrong to invite friends, family and neighbours to dinner parties. How though, do we find out what he really means?
We look at the context.
The start of Chaper 14. Verses 1-6
1-3 One time when Jesus went for a Sabbath meal with one of the top leaders of the Pharisees, all the guests had their eyes on him, watching his every move. Right before him there was a man hugely swollen in his joints. So Jesus asked the religion scholars and Pharisees present, “Is it permitted to heal on the Sabbath? Yes or no?”
4-6They were silent. So he took the man, healed him, and sent him on his way. Then he said, “Is there anyone here who, if a child or animal fell down a well, wouldn’t rush to pull him out immediately, not asking whether or not it was the Sabbath?” They were stumped. There was nothing they could say to that.
Why does Jesus ask if they would pull their child out of the well on the Sabbath?
Why do they say nothing back to him?
Why do they disprove of Jesus healing him?
I’m going to answer the last first.
They disprove of Jesus healing the man?
Well, it was a Sabbath day – Sunday for Christians, it’s meant to be a day of rest – the Old Testament is full of warnings about how important it is to keep the Sabbath holy!
It’s one of the 10 commandments to start with, and it is mentioned all over the Bible. Seriously. Best guesses come in at about 80+
Well, they where totally hung up on just HOW important the Sabbath was. Which is why they didn’t like Jesus doing “work” on the Sabbath day.
Which is why Jesus asked the question “Why does Jesus ask if they would pull their child out of the well on the Sabbath?”
And they say nothing back, because they can’t lie and say they wouldn’t, and they can’t respond and be caught in their own hypocrisy (another sin btw).
Jesus catching them out here upsets them, they’re disapproving of him working on the Sabbath, but then when he challenges them about their feelings on the matter they have NOTHING to come back with.
This is re-iterated several times, in the story of the lost son – the older son is in the same situation as the Pharisees.
He is up-set that there is no punishment for the younger brother. He thinks I’ve been working away all this time he’s been living a life of party after party. The words “it’s not fair” spring to mind.
In chapter 15, Jesus is speaking to the Pharisees who are annoyed with him. Jesus makes reference to every day things the Pharisees can’t really misunderstand.
Even when Jesus explains to them, they don’t get any less annoyed. Perhaps the fact that they could grasp the context, just frustrated them.
The teachings of Jesus make people angry – they challenge, and people don’t like to be challenged!
Here Jesus has noticed that all the guests are trying to push their way into the seat of honour. What he says to them is striking, for me in particular. I often see myself as better then I am, so this message is quite humbling. Another reminder to place others before myself!
15That triggered a response from one of the guests: “How fortunate the one who gets to eat dinner in God’s kingdom!”
As Peter said, “He might as well have said pass the salt.” For all the study of the law this guy has had, he really misses the point.
What is the result of his next parable (for those who pass up the banquet?)
They miss out on the Kingdom of God, “I’m too busy for God.”
What is the result for the oldest Son in Luke 15:11-32?
He ends up outside the party. He misses out on God’s kingdom.
We should be saying “I have nothing to complain about – life is a gift. EVERYTHING I have is a gift. None if it is a reward. Not one bit.” We need to be thankful for what we are given, and not upset because other people given the same things.
This is some pretty powerful teaching. We need the correct context to understand it, make sure you take the correct things away. Don’t try for symbolism in a literal passage, and don’t take a symbolic passage literally.
So, stay at the banquet. Enjoy rejoicing in the joy of the Lord.
Remain and faithful son/daughter of God – or think about what your missing.
Thanks for reading.