Thursday, March 1, 2012

Luke, Chapter 18: Activist judges are heaven-sent

A godless, liberal activist judge is being bothered by a woman who wants vengeance against her enemies. He puts her off for awhile, but finally decides that it's easier to settle her dispute than to have her coming to bother him every day. Jesus informs us that this illustrates that god will always come through for his followers in the end, so just sit tight, yours is coming.

Then he tells a parable about a Pharisee and a tax collector who go into a temple to pray. The Pharisee thanks god for not making him a tax collector, and reminds him that he fasts and tithes. The tax collector just hangs his head in shame and asks forgiveness. Only one goes to heaven.

Because the people can't leave him alone for even one second while he tells his repetitive, nonsensical stories, someone thrusts a baby in his face and asks him for faith healing. The disciples want to hear the end, so they rebuke the woman, but Jesus repeats his line about Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God (v. 16).

Now a rich man in the crowd pipes up to ask how he can get into heaven. Follow the commandments. He already does that. Sell all your possessions and follow Christ. The guy likes the following part, but not the selling. Jesus repeats that it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God (v. 25) but the guy isn't sold.

This piques the crowd's interest, and they ask how they can get into heaven. Peter points out that they've already left their families, but Jesus insists that Christianity is their family now and promises them all eternal life in heaven.

Jesus decides that they've tarried long enough and it's now time to get to Jerusalem so the scourging and mocking and dying can get going and he can be resurrected. As they're passing Jericho, a blind man hears them and asks who they are. When someone explains, he asks for faith healing. The others, anxious to get their bloodbath on, tell him to shut up, but Jesus agrees to restore his sight, so he joins their little band of merry men.

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