Hello everyone! Welcome back to the gospel of Luke. Today we will be studying chapters 12 and 13 which have a theme running throughout about money and it's effect on our ability to enter God's kingdom. Of course, money itself is not the limiting factor as money is the means in which we do good things. But, money has the temptation and allure of desiring more and more and that selfish behavior is what causes division, strife, and disappointment from God. I am not offering financial advice throughout this blog as thats between you and God, and frankly, I suck with money and am not the person to tell you what to do with it. But, it is a day to be challenged to consider our budgets and how it relates to our relationship with God.
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this reveal to you about Jesus?
What about this section is meaningful? What is challenging? What is confusing?
Do you take a sabbath day? What "work" do you permit yourself on your sabbath day? (for me I take Saturday's off from work and do not look at anything related to work. But I do yard work, house work, run, and other activities. I still consider this sabbath because it's not work work.)
- Commentary -
While I mentioned above that this section is mostly about money either overtly (the parable of the wheat farmer) or covertly (spending to monuments rather than emulating the prophets) the part that I want to focus on for todays commentary is Luke 13: 10-17 which is the story of Jesus healing the crippled woman on the sabbath. I wanted to share this because I think there are few things in here that demonstrate the cleverness of Luke's writing. First, this is another example of Luke sharing a gender equal story of Jesus as this story is immediately followed in chapter 14 by the healing of a crippled man. Secondly, this story is the final time that Jesus enters the synagogue in the gospel of Luke. This is particularly important to note as he visits more "churches" in the gospel of Luke than any other. It can be interpreted that Jesus final visit to the synagogue and healing a crippled woman causing conflict in the church among its followers is a symbol that we can often "cripple" our spiritual growth by being caught up in theological nuance and debate. Further, Jesus shows honor to this woman by freeing her of the shame caused by her affliction and ending his conversation about her as regarding her as "daughter of Abraham." I find this to be such a stunning story as it reveals that God's mercies can take us from places of shame and remind us that we are all children of God, no matter what.
Praying the Hymns
Our hymn today is 273 in our hymnal - Jesus' Hands Were Kind Hands. I think this is a fitting song for the above commentary as Jesus heals this woman by physically touching her. I also want to recognize that for some reading this there could be very real trauma associated with physical touch and you might not like to imagine Jesus as someone who touches. If that is the case, I recommend for you to pray your own prayer today and remember that whatever shame has come from that - you are a child of God. For the rest of you, I hope you find this hymn to be enchanting and inspiring to your day.
1 Jesus' hands were kind hands, doing good to all, healing pain and sickness, blessing children small, washing tired feet, and saving those who fall; Jesus' hands were kind hands, doing good to all.
2 Take my hands, Lord Jesus, let them work for you; make them strong and gentle, kind in all I do. Let me watch you, Jesus, till I'm gentle too, till my hands are kind hands, quick to work for you.
See you tomorrow!