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Monday, 24 October 2011

Day 298: Warnings and encouragements

God and bad today. From Jesus and his opponents.  
Jesus’ teaching on prayer
Luke 11:1-13
His teaching on Satan’s kingdom
Luke 11:14-26
True happiness
Luke 11:27-28
The demand for a miracle
Luke 11:29-36
The light of the body
Luke 11:33-36
Blind guides
Luke 11:37-54
Warning against hypocrisy
Luke 12:1-3
God’s care
Luke 12:4-7
Confession or rejection
Luke 12:8-12
The parable of the rich fool
Luke 12:13-21
Trust in God
Luke 12:22-31
Treasure in heaven
Luke 12:32-34

Jesus, when he3 is talking about prayer, wants to encourage people that God is listening and  will help. So he tells the story of a grumpy friend, who is reluctant to get up and midnight. No one in that culture would refuse to offer hospitality, just as no parent would give something dangerous to their child. This is the “how much more” argument - if you can do this, how much more will God, who is perfect, do this and more for you?
Jesus accepts another Pharisee’s hospitality, but after he is criticised for not washing his hands in the prescribed way, he lets rip. “Woe to you, blind guides!” Something tells me he won;t get invited back there again.
Jesus’ rhetoric against the scribes and pharisees is getting harsher. Attitudes are hardening on both sides. They have decided that he is bad news, and needs to be stopped. Jesus has decided that they will never listen, and it’s time to tell it like it is. Sometimes it feels like he’s being reckless, but I guess he is provoking them to a point where they will act to kill him. And that’s the plan.
Now comes the first of many parables that attack the religious leaders, the wealthy and comfortable. The rich fool thinks he’s got it made, but actually he is running out of time. Fast.
Then he turns to some words of comfort - don’t put your trust in material things, store up your treasure in heaven, it’s safer than a bank.

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