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Showing posts from April, 2020

Gethsemane and Arrest, Luke 22:39-71

It is Thursday and the last day of April. We have come to the readings in Luke that describe the night they arrested God! Read Luke 22:39-71 today and come back so we might spend some time thinking about what we've read. The reading we've just finished is not unfamiliar to us. Jesus took his disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane. As we have made note of previously, Gethsemane means "olive press". It is a grove of Olive trees - one of the hundreds like it in Israel. They had to cross the brook Kidron to leave the city. All of it is symbolically familiar. King David had fled Jerusalem when his son, Absalom, had sought to take his Kingship - two Kings, without thrones. It was here that the full weight of what lies ahead for Jesus begins. "Father, if you are willing, remove this cup..." What is the cup? It is the wrath of God poured out on sin (Psalm 75:8). His death was the payment for that sin. Martin Luther remarked, “No man fe

Passover Night, Luke 22:1-38

It is Wednesday and we continue in our “thru the New Testament in a year” reading in Luke 22:1-38. The biblical story is quite familiar to us all, so read carefully paying attention to details you may have never seen before. When you are finished reading the Scripture, come back and we’ll look at it a little more. It is at the end of the week Jesus had told his disciples would come. Luke told us back in 9:51, that Jesus “set his face towards Jerusalem”, i.e., knew that the time had come for the fulfillment of the purpose of the Father for his coming. Passover was the setting for a multitude of things Luke reminds us of. The rulers came to the conclusion that it was “NOW” that they had to deal with Jesus. They did not want to mess up their Passover celebrations, so they had to figure it out quickly - so they plotted. Fortunately for them, they had a willing participant in Judas - the treasurer of Jesus’ group. There is a darkness that has begun to spread in Jerusalem and e

The Olivet Teaching, Luke 21

Tuesday, April 28 and in our reading thru the New Testament, we have come to the last days of Jesus in Luke’s Gospel. Read Luke 21:5-38. After reading it...slowly to catch the words, the images and metaphors...come back and we’ll look at it together. In our previous readings of this discourse from Jesus, we know that he told this to the disciples on the Mount of Olives...a hilltop overlooking Jerusalem, less than 2 miles away. In the background, Jesus and his disciples get a magnificent view of the Temple, and the city of Jerusalem also. They crest the mountain top and the scene in front of them is majestic...the Holy City...and the Temple God directed his people to build for worship, prayer, and the glory of God. The disciples had been with Jesus in the Temple proper just before all this takes place. The last image they had was of the Sadducees walking away, rich people putting their gifts into the offering boxes, and a poor widow dropping her 2 cents in, which Jesus

Monday, April 27...Luke 20:27 - 21:4

Good Monday morning to you. As we start the new week we continue our reading through the New Testament in a Year. We are getting close to the end of April, and the end of the third Gospel, Luke, which will finish the readings of the Synoptic Gospels: Matthew, Mark and Luke. Today, our reading is from Luke 20:27 - 21:4. Again, we ignore the chapter division to keep the context clear. After you finish reading, please come back and we'll think some more about what we've read. It's fairly obvious that Jesus' last week on earth is full of tension and confrontation with religious authorities. They have tried to trick him with a question on taxes (we read last time), and previously had challenged his authority in his teaching. The two main ruling groups at the time are the Pharisees and the Sadducees. They do not like each other, but together they find Jesus more of a threat. Next in line to try to trap Jesus in a hypothetical question is the Sadducees. Th

Weekend reading in Luke 20

Welcome to the weekend. On the weekend in our reading thru the New Testament, we only have one day’s readings. Today, we are reading from Luke 20:1-26. After reading the Scripture - first - come back and we’ll think a bit more about what we’ve read. When reading Scripture, one principle that is helpful is to try to put yourself in the place of the people in the scripture passage who are both present and listening. There are several people in this section. Even though we seem to have 3 different scenes here, they are all interconnected. Jesus came into Jerusalem on a donkey, with much praise and adulation from the people. His disciples were certainly excited, and there was an expectancy of something great is going to happen. But it didn’t take long for that expectancy to change. Jesus entered into the busy Temple and seeing the money-changers and the sellers of goods...a proverbial flea market...Jesus began a cleansing of the Temple proper by turning over tables of money,

The Parable and the Point

It is Friday and as we read thru the New Testament we have arrived at Luke 19:11-48. After you have the chance to read the passage, come back and we’ll walk thru it a bit more. Sometimes when we read Scripture - especially the Gospel stories - we can fail to see the connections in what the writer is giving us. Luke tells us that after dinner with Zacchaeus and that memorable encounter the day before, Jesus comes out to the crowd once again, and along with the disciples, they were going to head on to Jerusalem. “As they heard these things, he proceeded to tell a parable, because he was near to Jerusalem, and because they supposed that the kingdom of God was to appear immediately” Luke sets the stage for this journey into Jerusalem. They were near Jerusalem - about 5 miles - and there was anticipation building among the crowd that Jesus would be pronounced King. Of course, we know that this was not Jesus’ intent, and his journey to Jerusalem was the opening

The New Testament in a Year?

I've been writing a daily reflection from a passage that others are reading along with me as we attempt to read thru the New Testament in a Year.  I'm going to begin to post these to the blog also in case someone wants to come along, but not through Facebook.  We're in late April, so I apologize for thinking about this so late, but we still have 8 months to go, and all we've done so far is Matthew, Mark, and up to this section on Luke's gospel.  Here's where I will re-begin with you: It is Thursday and in our reading thru the New Testament this year we come to Luke 18:31 to 19:10. The chapter division is not as important to observe sometimes, and this is one of those times. After reading the Scripture come back so that we can think a bit more about the passage. Our reading began with Jesus taking his disciples aside, one more time, to make sure they understood why they were headed to Jerusalem. Jesus was going there to die! His mission was to take hi