week 5

Luke 10:25-42

Who do you hate?

There was a great amount of racial tension between Jews and Samaritans. Samaritans were Jews who had intermarried with a different race, and Jews hated it. Jews would sometimes call down curses on the Samaritans, and they thought they were doing a good thing! Their hearts where far from the desire of God for them to love all people. At the same time, priests and Levites where esteemed and honored in the Jewish culture. So Jesus really turns this parable on its head as their beloved people did not do the right thing, while their enemy did the best thing. The entire story is a response to the question, “And who is my neighbor (that I should love)?” And it ends with Jesus asking him a question, “Which of these was a neighbor?” Their hate was a blind spot and Jesus wanted them to see it. This story is typically titled at the “Parable of the Good Samaritan.” A better title would be “Who do you hate? Now go and love them.”

 

Task or people?

Are you task driven or people driven? Both are good and have their place. Martha is the task driven one and Mary seems to be the people person. Jesus says the way of Mary is better. Doing things for Jesus is good. But sitting with him in fellowship is great. What can you give up in order to spend time with him today? 

Luke 11:1-23

Desire and boldness in prayer

Jesus tells a parable about prayer. A parable is a story about everyday life that teaches a true about God. In a parable the listener always tried to find God and themselves in the story. In this story, God is the friend behind the locked door already in bed for the night; and we are the one in need of bread. The main point that Jesus is driving home is the idea of desire and boldness. How bad do you want the thing that you asking of God? Are you knocking softly or banging on God’s door? Are you knocking once or unwilling to give up? Jesus throws out a challenge for us to not give up. He says in verse 13 that he DESIRES to give the Holy Spirit to those that ask. Will you believe? 

Luke 11:24-36

Repentance

The sign of Jonah is a call for the people to repent from their sin, just as Jonah had preached to the to Ninevites. Jesus is asking the people to turn from their sin and trust God, just as the Ninevites did, as did the Queen of the South (1Kings 10:1-13). But there is one greater than Jonah and Solomon, his name is Jesus. Let’s listen to his warning and trust in him.

 

Light

Jesus wants our lives to shine like a lamp to influence the world and bring light to others. Is your life guiding people in darkness? Is the light of Jesus illuminating any darkness in your life? Jesus refers our eyes as the lamp that illumines our soul. The eye takes in what we see. Our spiritual eyes take in what we desire, either the truth of Jesus or the things of this world. Ask the Lord to reveal any darkness hiding in you, and ask him to shine is light into all your soul—for your holiness and for the sake of others seeing his light in you.    

Luke 11:37-54

Identifying with Jesus or the Pharisees

The Pharisees were the religious leaders of the day, and many of them were in direct opposition to Jesus. They were his biggest battle as they had lost the heart for God. As we live to follow Jesus we can easily slip into the ways of the Pharisees if we are not careful. Some notable characteristics of the Pharisees are caring more about rules (doing) than the heart (being). They wanted to appear to be righteous but they took no time to examine their own heart. They loved for people to see them as important as they desired the spot light. They neglected to poor and didn’t fight for the marginalized people. We must examine ourselves. Do we focus on doing the right religious things rather than being the right person? Do we seek attention and leadership positions for self-gain? When we identify with the Pharisees we hinder people from entering the Kingdom of God, because the Kingdom is based not on religious rules but on love and mercy. Let’s identify with Jesus, who brings life, mercy, love, and humility into the world. Open up your heart to him, he loves you.  

Luke 12:1-31

Hypocrisy

Jesus continues his warnings and encouragements for his disciples to self-examine their hearts. Are we the same person in public AND private? When we are alone AND when everyone is looking? For everything will be brought into the light for everyone to see. Are you afraid of people? There’s no need to be because God knows you intimately and he cares for you! Care about Jesus more than anything in this world and he will acknowledge you before the heavenly angels. What a day that will be! In difficult situations, do you trust the Holy Spirit to guide you moment by moment? He will guide you when you trust in him.

 

Generosity

In the parable of the rich fool, Jesus is clear that we have a choice to store up things in this world or to live so generously that we store up treasure in heaven. Are we takers or givers? Fist clinched or hand open? Living for heaven means we have hope. Death is not feared. For when our earthly bodies die is when we truly begin to live. When our hope is with Jesus in heaven then we are able to live open handed generous lives.

 

Worry

Are you a control freak? When we are the result is worry. Control is an illusion. We can’t even control the fact that we are breathing. God is in control and knowing that will keep us free of worry and trusting in him.