Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tensions - Luke 13,14

Kristen said last week about Luke 11 and 12: " He sounds mad!" There is more of that tension in these chapters!

In the news today, everyone is incensed over the bonuses paid with taxpayer's money to the executives who made such a mess of things. Makes people mad! They were meant to be good stewards of what belongs to someone else.

That is what is going on these chapters. This is a critical moment in the whole salvation story. The Word and the kingdom had been entrusted to one people. Now the master has shown up - and they are put to the test: will they recognize the rightful master, or resist? These chapters are full of warnings. They come at a critical moment: Jesus is on the way to Jerusalem, where prophets are killed. This is the moment to respond. Jesus is asked: "Will the number of those saved be few?" He responds with a answer, not about numbers, but about timing: the door is still open, but it won't be for long. (Remember that the warnings about the consequences of rejection of Jesus and his message came true within a generation, when the Romans overran Jerusalem in 70 AD, the temple was destroyed, and the people scattered.)

God always intended that His kingdom was for all nations - not just one. They were meant to be lights to the world. Jesus' rejection and death opened the way for all people - the poor and undeserving (all of us!) - to come in to the great banquet. We come in by the narrow door - Jesus himself.

The section is full of serious teaching for the disciples. They - we - are the ones entrusted with representing the kingdom. May Jesus, by his Spirit, keep us from neglecting the important things: justice, the love of God, the love and healing of our neighbor - and the presence of the Master, Jesus himself, .

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