Sunday, February 19, 2012

Luke, Chapter 12: How much did god provide you with today?

Thousands of people are showing up, so many that they're trampling each other. In the wings, Jesus turns to his disciples and warns them that the Pharisees are probably going to show up to heckle him, because they're hypocrites. He promises that soon they'll all be in heaven, where there are no secrets and not to be afraid, except of god, who might send them to hell. He also informs us that we have so many hairs on our heads that they cannot be counted, and therefore we're more valuable to god than sparrows. Good to know.

Next he tells them that true believers who accept him as their lord and saviour will get into heaven, but deniers are going to hell. Oh, and here's an interesting tidbit: you can blaspheme against Jesus all you want, but insulting the Holy Ghost is a one-way ticket to hell.

Should they find themselves on trial, fear not, the Holy Ghost will put words into their mouths.

Next, someone pipes up that his brother is refusing to share the inheritance. Because he is convinced that the world is going to end, Jesus does not counsel him about elder mediators. Rather, he tells him to stop being selfish and tells a parable about a man who had such an abundant harvest that he couldn't fit it all into his existing barns. Instead of just building a new barn, he decides he needs to tear down his current ones and start over. Then he'll take a nice long rest, since his stores will last him several years. But then god appears to him that very night and tells him he's going to die, and who will get all his treasure? Apparently, this is meant to illustrate that we should take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on. Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat; neither for the body, what ye shall put on(v. 22-3). Again, not exactly a principle one finds many Christians following. He illustrates this with yet another parable, this time about how ravens and lilies don't save for the future, because god takes care of them. No nature red in tooth and claw for this guy! He advises them to sell everything and spend the rest of their short lives thinking about god.

Peter asks if this is intended only for the disciples, or for the thousands of people who are eagerly waiting to hear his speech. Jesus says that after he dies, he's counting on them to rule in his place. If they do well, he'll reward them. If they're bad, though, and start beating people up and drinking and acting like every religious leader ever, he'll cut them up and beat them and send them to hell. He also informs us that he didn't come to bring peace on earth, he's actually here to divide families.

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