This post wont be as in depth as the previous. This is primarily because the previous one took a while and I’m still experimenting with my blogging format. On that note, updating five times a week was probably optimistic, nevertheless it remains my goal. I will be writing a small amount on each chapter here. Unless stated otherwise, all references in brackets reference the gospel according to Luke.
Chapter 7: We know little of the centurions servant, though after seeing the faith of the centurion Jesus heals him. This is also a very rare case of where there has been a healing without Jesus or some disciples being present in person. This passage can be used for many things, though what seemed important on this time of reading, was to acknowledge the power of faithful prayer, and the infinite range of God’s power. We also read later in the chapter (7:36) that Jesus eats with sinners, and forgives a woman who is serving him. It seems that in this chapter a theme is that if one has true faith they act upon it, and see its fruits.
Chapter 8: A brother and I had a discussion on the parable of the sower, asking why the sower would sow seed on the path where the devil can take it away, and whether we should pray more against the devil doing so. The conclusion was that we should not pray that the devil does not take away the seed (and accredit him with power), but rather pray that peoples hearts be as good soil (8:15), that when they hear it there is no chance for the devil to act. Verse 21 is of interest, it shows a Christian “must hear the word of God and do it”, a themes which is repeated (one must act in faith). If the disciples had believed that what Jesus had commanded them were possible (8:22) they would not have been in such distress (8:24), which could explain why Jesus questions where their faith is (8:25). The story of legion was interesting because it seems to suggest demons give power (8:29), however we discussed the difference between this power over some physical things causing the man to escape bonds, compared to God’s power which free’s everyone (Acts 16:26). We compared this also to the pharaohs magicians, and how God’s power was unrivaled, as the other snakes were eaten by the one God created from Aaron’s staff (exodus 7:12). Fianly to note, Jesus tells the parents of a girl just risen from the dead not to tell anybody (8:56), though there are many reasons for this is could be because he wanted them to treasure it in their hearts as Mary treasures things (2:19).
Chapter 9: The disciples see multitude are hungry, and Jesus commands his disciples to feed them (9:13). This is important, Jesus expects us to do things. Not simply to see and pray, but to see a need, pray and act upon it. We must also being willing to totally lose our lives into God’s hands (9:24). It is interesting that, at the transfiguration, the command given concerning Jesus is that we should listen to him (9:35). The first duty of a Christian, is to listen to Jesus, the second (I argue) is to respond faithfully. The other man who was casting out demons in Jesus’ name (9:49-50) was rebuked (asked to stop) by the disciples, we wondered if the disciples ever went back and apologized. Also, please compare 9:50 with 11:23. It is also interesting that James and John offer to, as a brother worded it, set off a bomb in a Samaritan village. Jesus does not want us to attack those who do not receive him (for example, we should not attack mosques): this may seem obvious but clearly it is not.
Chapter 10: we enjoyed the personification of cities (10:12-16). We also noted how Jesus does not force people to listen to him or the disciples and felt that sometimes we (and evangelists and missionaries) can be too harsh on ourselves for not seeing everyone converted. If people do not receive the truth when it is shown, it is not our job to force it upon them (10:1-11). We also have something in which we can always rejoice (10:20) which stressed the amazing power shown in salvation compared to the power shown in simply exercising demons. We discussed Mary and Martha (10:38-42) and noticed how Jesus did not condemn serving, but rather the fact that Martha was ‘distracted’, or ‘anxious’ (as some translations read). Whatever we do should be done with a focus on Jesus.
Chapter 11: We discussed the differences between certain translations versions of the Lords prayer. Something that stood out was the fact that we usually pray ‘forgive us our sins/transgressions/debts as we forgive those who sin/transgress/are indebted to us’, whereas in the verse there is reads ‘we ourselves forgive everyone indebted against us’ (11:4). Though only the difference of a word, it has a big impact on the way the verse is read. We looked at the demon cast out in 11:14, the demon was mute and so the person was mute. We discussed that when someone is demon possessed they take on the qualities of that demon (or those demons). My brother had a very good exegesis of 21-23 which shall (hopefully) be edited in later as i cannot remember it [Edit: my brother PK explained the devil is the strong man, but Jesus is the stronger man who breaks in and takes the person back from the devil]. We discussed the significance of how Jesus is greater than Solomon, and Jonah (through whom God moved all the people of Nineveh into severe repentance) (11:29-32). We also found it funny that the lawyers (11:45) are offended by something not addressed at them, and so Jesus makes sure to include them in his dispensing of woe.
Chapter 12: The comfort given by 12:11-12 is to be noted. We enjoyed the phrase “Fool! This night your soul will be required of you” (12:20), and the message that we should not store up treasures on earth, and the phrase “Do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows” (12:7). We discussed the importance of always serving (11:35-48) as we know not when a) we’re going to die b) when Jesus will return. We noted that Jesus came to bring division to the earth (11:51), which seems contrary to much teaching in the church (though I will not get into this now, I will say that though there may not be peace on earth, we [through Jesus] have peace with God).
Lots of Love, God bless you and keep you.