Thursday, November 5, 2015

Luke, Day 4 Readings

Things Lost and Found & the Virtue of Humility 

Today's first reading relates three of Jesus most famous parables, which only appear in the Gospel of Luke.  The three stories that Jesus tells have the same theme -- rejoicing when something lost is found.  The first is about a lost sheep, 1 out of 100, that demands the shepherds undivided attention.  The second is about a lost coin.  The third is very famous -- it is about a lost son, the prodigal, who returns home to an ecstatic father (whose celebration leads to consternation and jealousy for the older brother, who never left).  For each of these, Jesus encourages people to imagine, or remember, how happy they are when they find things that are lost; how much more so when God reestablishes a relationship with a person who had been lost to sin, but now will be saved.

Read Luke 15:1-32  (NIV)   (NRSV)   (CEB)
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]

The second reading provides a series of examples where Jesus is teaching his disciples (and through them, us) about the importance of humility.  All sorts of people take pride in a variety of actions and behaviors, but time and again Jesus insists upon basic humility before God.  A widow, who repeatedly asks for mercy, is granted it even by a ruthless judge.  The tax collector who utters a simple and complete humbling prayer reaches God more than the learned Pharisee who goes on and on, eloquently.  A child, who expects nothing, is the model way to approach God's kingdom of heaven.  The faithful and wealthy young ruler, who scrupulously follows the law, must give his wealth away to have complete faith in Jesus.  Then, even Jesus himself must show humility, and he tells his disciples again that he will be arrested, mocked, and crucified.  Stripping away pride, Jesus teaches, allows a true relationship with God can be built.

Read Luke 18:1-43  (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 15-19 today.