Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Luke, Day 3 Readings

Unexpected Models of Faith & Placing Complete Trust in God  

Today's first reading is filled with Jesus' particular view of what exemplars of faith look like.  At the beginning, Jesus sends out 70 people to offer healing and teaching in Jesus' name, fully empowering them, but knowing that many people won't know what to make of them.  Then, after they return (in a passage that some traditions use to justify the practice of snake-handling), Jesus offers the parable about a good Samaritan, who cares for an anonymous injured man when two religious people -- a priest and a Pharisee -- do not.  Lastly, Jesus praises Mary, a woman, for listening to his teaching rather than working in the kitchen, which was where women belonged, according to traditions of the time.  In each of these circumstances, it is the unexpected person or people -- the random 70 empowered by Jesus, a Samaritan, and a woman -- who are models of faith, not normal religious leaders like priests and rabbis.

Read Luke 10:1-42  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

The second reading offers another example of Jesus' teaching against religious hypocrisy.  At the outset of the chapter, warns people about the Pharisees, who worry more about how their behavior looked to others than how it looked to God, especially behind closed doors.  However, Jesus' teaching does not stop there.  Instead, Jesus then points at the people who would be his followers and warned them about the same type of hypocritical behavior.  Jesus encourages people who say they have complete trust in God to actually live with complete trust in God.  Don't be afraid to admit your faith to others, even your enemies; don't be greedy and acquire more possessions than you could ever possibly use; don't worry about your everyday needs; and, most importantly, don't imagine that God doesn't see exactly what you are doing (like the foolish slave who buried the master's money and evidently never considered what the master would say when he found out).

Read Luke 12:1-59  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

Reading the Bible in Its Entirety

If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read Luke 11-14 today.