Hello! Welcome back to gospel of Luke. Today's reading is the very reason that I love the gospel of Luke. I cannot find the exact source where I've heard this so take this with a heavy grain of salt but I've heard that this section is called the "Gospel of the Last, Lost and Least" as the parables of this section are entirely unique to Luke and they are all focused on God's care and excitement for the last, lost and least in the kingdom. I don't want to spoil too much here but I'll comment some more on it towards the bottom.
Scripture to Read
Questions to Consider
What does this reveal about Jesus?
Who do you consider the last, the lost, and the least in our culture?
What about this text was meaningful to you? Why?
- Commentary / Thoughts (?) -
I'm technically labeling this one as thoughts only because I can't find my source for the whole last, lost, and least thing and frankly I can't spend another 20 minutes digging through my college textbooks just to confirm it haha. So, I'm calling this thoughts because it is technically unverified within this blog. Shoot me, and do us both a favor.
We have to remember that this is all within the framework of Jesus sitting with the Pharisees after commenting on what is okay or not on the sabbath. He's already challenging them to look beyond their traditional beliefs and is now going a step further with asking them through the veil of parable how welcoming they are and how welcoming they consider God. The parable of the great feast begins by saying the regular guests deny their invitations so the king (God) invites the hidden ones of the streets and fields to come to the kingdom (heaven). This is the first of the "least" parables. Then he challenges his own followers to remember they too must become the least and not just care for those already the least by instructing them that they must get rid of everything immediately after. Next, the beloved story of the lost sheep doesn't really need me to spell it out but fulfills the "last" part of the gospel of the least, lost, and the last. Luke really spells it out for these next two parables by saying "to illustrate the point further" with the lost coin and the lost son. Finally, the two parable in chapter 16 are about the "last" through the context of rich and poor. The shrewd manager parable is about those whom are obsessed with money will do anything to keep what they have or lost the least amount of it. Those who are "last" on the economic tower have more capacity to trust and follow God. The story of Lazarus and the Rich Man spells it out pretty clearly that the "last" among us will be heaven while the "first" among us will be in hell (separate from God, not necessarily fire and brimstone.) I believe this is intentional by Luke as the story of Lazarus' death in John's gospel is very diffferent and says he is only the brother of Martha and Mary. But in this case, Lazarus was a servant to a rich man.
Praying the Hymns
I'm glad this hymn worked out to be at the time we are reading Luke's gospel as it celebrates women in ministry even during Jesus time. Maybe not in the traditional sense of being "in ministry" but it celebrates the stories of women in the Bible that showed great examples of faith and were fulfilled as a result. Let's join together to sing a really important hymn.
1 Woman in the night, spent from giving birth, guard our precious light; peace is on the earth!
Refrain: Come and join the song, women, children, men; Jesus makes us free to live again!
2 Woman in the crowd, creeping up behind, touching is allowed; seek and you will find! (Refrain)
3 Woman at the well, question the Messiah; find your friends and tell; drink your heart's desire! (Refrain)
4 Woman at the feast, let the righteous stare; come and go in peace; love him with your hair! (Refrain)
5 Woman in the house, nurtured to be meek, leave your second place; listen, think, and speak! (Refrain)
6 Women on the road, welcomed and restored, travel far and wide; witness to the Lord! (Refrain)
7 Women on the hill, stand when men have fled! Christ needs loving still, though your hope is dead. (Refrain)
8 Women in the dawn, care and spices bring; earliest to mourn; earliest to sing! (Refrain)