This week we went For the basics in terms of bible study format; after opening with a prayer from Mike, based on the Lords Prayer, we met Kim and Ian. After that it was straight into Luke 10-12 followed by some discussion:
- When addressing the religious lawyers Jesus says: “Woe to you religious lawyers as well! For you load people up with burdens that are hard to carry, but you yourselves will not lift one finger to bear the load. Woe to you, because you build the tombs of the prophets, but your ancestors were the ones who killed them! Therefore, you are witnesses and accomplices to the deeds of your ancestors, because they killed the prophets and you yourselves build their tombs. It is for this reason that the Wisdom of God said, ‘I will send them prophets and apostles; and they will kill and persecute some of them’, so that this generation might be blamed for the blood of all the prophets that has been he’d since the foundation of the world- from the blood of Abel through to the blood of Zechariah, who died between the altar and the sanctuary. Yes, I tell you it will be blamed on this generation!. There was a question as to whom the ‘this generation’ referred to.
- The next three were things that were a bit challenging or uncomfortable
We came to the conclusion that it was the people who were still in the deeds of the ancestors, ie those working toward salvation in the law.
- …you hold the key to knowledge…
- “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me, scatters.”
- Now Mary was sitting at the Lord’s feet to listen to what he was saying, but Martha was worried about the many things she had to do to serve her guest. She came up and said, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister is leaving me to serve on my own? Tell her to come and help me.”
But the Lord answered her, “Martha, Martha, you are anxious and bothered about many things, but there is only one thing that is necessary. For Mary chose the better thing, and it will not be taken away from her.”
In the text this is applied to the Jewish law experts, but it is also applicable to Christians. We tend to forget this, so we should remember it a bit more…
There is no fence sitters, it’s either for or against…
Martha is distracted by good things (serving) over better things (listening and learning from Jesus. We need to focus on the right things to do.
Following on from this we talked about the placement of this event in this translation. It is set just after the parable of the good Samaritan where a Jewish law expert asks what must he do in order to inherit eternal life. Jesus questions his understanding of the law by asking what Is written in the law and what the expert understands by it. The expert answers “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and love your neighbour as yourself”. We know that this is a commandment of the law, however it is impossible to do. No one by doing is able to get themselves into the kingdom of God, rather it is by faith that we are saved. So the comparison of Martha the doer and Mary the listener challenges and makes us uncomfortable here…
For those that are Christians without Christian parents this is both good and bad news…. Good in the sense that Jesus is more important than family, He is our Saviour that saves us from our sin and enables us to live in Heaven with him at the end of days. Bad in the sense that family is family… They are, generally, the ones that we are most intimate with in this world, those that have known us for the longest time, supported and loved us throughout plenty of situations, yet with the coming of Jesus they are no longer the ones that have the strongest link, if they are not Christian, because the Christian family is profound with ties thicker than blood, and full of relationships that will surpass this world.
It’s new in the sense that Jesus hasn’t really talked about casting fire on the earth, at least from my recollection from other translations, and also that he is distressed about the baptism he is to experience…. I found it quite confusing and not too sure if there was much of a resolution to the meaning of the passage for me. I do feel a little encouraged that Jesus was distressed over these things though. It puts him in a light that we don’t often recognise that things were hard for him, putting the whole man perspective back in the picture.
Something to be thankful for and encouraged by, although we do need to be careful in what context this is. We may not necessarily be able to directly apply it to our lives as Christians because there’s not many times in which we are before the synagogues, leaders and authorities. Rather Jesus does assure us further on in this chapter: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life-what you will eat; nor about your body-what you will wear. For your life is more than food, and your body is more than clothing.
They are blessed because they had the privilege of seeing Jesus, being in his presence, and taught by him. So many of the prophets, kings and people of Israel wanted to see Jesus. They are also blessed as the Son reveals God the Father to them as well.
In summary these three chapters are a bit darker, challenging and even offensive to those opposed to Jesus, yet reassuring for those that follow Him. They concentrate on dividing between those who are inside and those who are outside the Kingdom of God.