I want to reinforce the subject of context that I talked about yesterday. Looking back at chapter 16: after Jesus told the disciples, “No servant can serve two masters… you cannot love God and money,” Luke says the Pharisees, who were lovers of money… ridiculed Him.
After this Jesus launches into a series of seemingly disconnected teachings: certainly nothing bonding them like the “lost and found” parables in chapter 15. “God knows your hearts,” He says, “For what is exalted among men is an abomination to God…” He follows by sequencing traditions: Law and Prophets through John, followed by the “Gospel of the Kingdom of God.” Then there’s a blip about divorce, and finally a long parable about a rich and poor man, with allusions to Abraham, Moses, and the prophets again.
I call all this to your attention because we’re now three-quarters of the way through Luke’s gospel. Luke did promise in the beginning that he wanted to write an orderly account of Jesus’ life. Even though this is difficult to make sense of at times, it’s not simply a random collection of stories. Choices were made about what to include, what to omit, and what to emphasize.
Today’s reading deals with temptation, forgiveness, and gratitude; with the coming of the Kingdom of God, and humility in prayer. There are living examples that reinforce what Jesus has been teaching about faith and boldness. And there is a geographic marker – the first in a long time – that turns the story down the final stretch, when we can determine what Luke – and Jesus – were driving toward.
Our verse for this week is Romans 8:38-39: For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Luke 17 and 18. Now let’s read it!
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.