Showing posts from March, 2020

Are you dazed and confused?

(72) Dazed and Confused in Jerusalem So… a rich son can get lost and be redeemed and a poor shepherd can rejoice in a lost sheep and the beggar on the street corner might get invited to a banquet. It’s no surprise if Jesus’ listeners, even his disciples, are confused. But now he’s going to confuse them (and maybe us) some more. Read Luke 16:1-2 1.        Given what Jesus’ has been talking about, who might the disciples imagine is in the wrong at this first sentence—the rich (Pharisee?) perhaps? Who have the Pharisees been accusing of squandering God’s teaching? So… who might they imagine the steward represents? 2.        Okay, that’s not how we usually read the story, but remembering Jesus has a sense of humor, read Luke 16:3-4 and imagine how the disciples might react to “I can’t dig and I’m ashamed to beg.” Can you imagine Peter calling out “Ah, but can he fish?” 3.        How was Jesus going to be “removed” from his ministry (or lose his job in other translations)? 4.   

Are you one of the Poor and Lost?

We left Jesus enjoying a well-salted meal with some Pharisees, telling stories, getting his hosts to both laugh and think. But these aren't the only people Jesus hangs out with. Sometimes (all too often) he's found among the dregs of society, and what's a fine Pharisee to make of that? Maybe we'd know better if we could figure out which we are, rich, well-blessed, and well-taught Pharisees, or poor and well-downtrodden, religiously uneducated masses... (71) Hanging out with the poor and lost Jesus has just told his “rich” friends a story where the poor and helpless take their place at a banquet. And, of course, Jesus does seem to spend a lot of time with such unsavory types, so it’s not hard to imagine a rich friend suggesting Jesus could have more influence if he stuck to the right sort of companions. Read Luke 15:1-3a, Matthew 18:10-11. Does this sort of debate ever come up in Christian circles today? 1.        Where do you think the idea of “guardian angels”