Showing posts from September, 2013

Reflections on the Parable of the Dishonest Steward – Luke 16:1-13

Read the lesson here: Luke 16:1-13 Keep Your Eye on the Ball! Of all of Jesus’ parables this one is perhaps the most difficult to understand.   A quick reading of this parable gives us the impression that Jesus is calling on his disciples to act more shrewdly even to the point of dishonesty!   So, what is this parable about?   It all seems so straight forward at first: A steward gets in trouble for “squandering” or mismanaging and is told he will be terminated.   The steward, recognizing his complete unsuitability for physical labor comes up with a ruse to ingratiate his master’s debtors to himself.   So he reduces the amount of the debts, collects the remainder of what is owed and earns the appreciation of the debtors.   We expect that when the master finds out what he has done the steward will get punished in the end.   But no, the master commends the shrewdness of the steward and Jesus finishes up by talking about the dangers of focusing life on wealth. To begin with

Reflections on the text: Luke 15:1-10 (32)

Read the complete text here: Luke 15:1-32 Come, Join the Party! “… But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”   Luke 14:13-14 Who doesn’t like a party?   Who doesn’t like a time to relax with friends, eating and drinking and having a fun time?   Jesus certainly seems to love to party.   In the Gospel of Luke he seems to go from one party to the next.   In fact, Jesus will accept an invitation from anyone – Pharisees, Scribes, tax collectors, sinners of different kinds, people of differing classes and backgrounds (see quote above from Luke 14).   Jesus will party with anyone!   And that is one of the things that gets him in trouble.   The good and respectable people don’t like it!   Maybe it’s jealousy or self-righteousness, but when Jesus accepts party invitations from THOSE other kinds of people, the RIGHT ki

Reflections on the text – Luke 14:25-33

Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple… none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions.  Luke 14:26-27, 33  Read the full text here: Luke 14:25-33   Counting the Cost Is Jesus serious?   What strong language – we are to hate not only our family but even our own lives and give up all our possessions?   That seems like a prescription for loneliness and homelessness.   Surely Jesus is not serious! He must be using those words for effect, to make a point – right? That is the most common and comfortable way of looking at this passage – Jesus doesn’t really mean it – Jesus is talking to people who are really dense and he has to use these extreme examples in order to get the message through.   Well, perhaps, but I think we should be careful about discounting the