And Jesus answered him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.” And he replied, “Say it, Teacher.” “A moneylender had two debtors: one owed five hundred denarii, and the other fifty. When they were unable to repay, he graciously forgave them both. So which of them will love him more?” Simon answered and said, “I suppose the one whom he forgave more.” And He said to him, “You have judged correctly.” (Lk. 7:40-43 NASB)
Gary Chapman wrote a definitive book on the languages of love The Five Love Languages, and in it he uses 5 different “languages” to explain how we show and receive love. One of the five is “Acts of Service.” This language is where someone does things for loved ones, helps them, holds the door for them, does chores around the house, or even small tasks. In this parable, Jesus seems to equate the “acts” of the city-sinner woman with the depth of her love. He then equates the lack of any acts on His behalf by the host as the thin love he has for Jesus.
Continue reading “How Much Do You Love Me?”
Now when the Pharisee who had invited Him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet He would know who and what sort of person this woman is who is touching Him, that she is a sinner.” (Lk. 7:39 NASB)
Luke provides the “interior” speech of the Pharisee. We skip right over that because we’re so used to it in books and works of fiction. But it really should arrest our attention here. How would Luke know what the Pharisee was thinking at this event? For that detail to become part of the story of Jesus, Jesus would have had to tell the disciples. That would have happened had they asked perhaps, but they wouldn’t know to ask until after the resurrection. And after the resurrection, wouldn’t there be bigger questions to ask?
Continue reading “Honest Change”
And there was a woman in the city who was a sinner; and when she learned that He was reclining at the table in the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster vial of perfume, and standing behind Him at His feet, weeping, she began to wet His feet with her tears, and kept wiping them with the hair of her head, and kissing His feet and anointing them with the perfume. (Luke 7:37-38 NASB)
One of the elements of the Gospel accounts I have to keep reminding myself of is that no one around Jesus really understood Him. Even as Peter makes his dramatic statement about Jesus being the “Son of the Living God” he turns around and rebukes Jesus. So, when I read about someone responding to Him in a way that seems to recognize something about Him that is obvious to me but couldn’t be even known to them, it should stand out. This woman is one of the most dramatic examples.
Continue reading “The Overwhelming Difference”
Jesus went on to say, “To what, then, can I compare the people of this generation? What are they like? They are like children sitting in the marketplace and calling out to each other:
“‘We played the pipe for you,
and you did not dance;
we sang a dirge,
and you did not cry.’
For John the Baptist came neither eating bread nor drinking wine, and you say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ (Luke 7:31-34 NIV)
This statement has the oddest context in Luke. Jesus finishes with the Centurion, healing his servant from a distance, then raises a widow’s son from the dead right in the midst of the funeral procession. John’s disciples see it, tell John the Baptist, and he sends them back to ask Jesus if He’s the One? Jesus replies with a “resume” of stuff these disciples have seen (even as they arrive to ask). He goes on to describe John (greatest man, but least in the Kingdom of God…perplexing also), and then ropes in the Pharisees and Lawyers into his diatribe. This is what He has to say about them.
Continue reading “Who’s Driving This Thing?”
“And a centurion’s slave, who was highly regarded by him, was sick and about to die.
When he heard about Jesus, he sent some Jewish elders asking Him to come and save the life of his slave.” (Luke 7:2,3 NASB)
For some people, all people are persons. For others, some people are things. This commander of 100 troops owned a slave, but thought of him as a person, a valuable person. In fact we learn that this Gentile soldier actually cared greatly for the people living in the country he occupied by force. These were not easy people to love by foreign occupation troops, but he does. And we know he is authentic in his love for them because the Jewish elders go to Jesus on his behalf.
Continue reading “Of Slaves And Masters”