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Tuesday, 25 October 2011

Day 299: The Kingdom of God

Jesus continues to confront his opponents with uncomfortable truths.  
Watchful servants
Luke 12:35-40
Faithful and unfaithful servants
Luke 12:41-48
Jesus, the cause of division
Luke 12:49-53
Interpreting the times
Luke 12:54-59
Repent or perish
Luke 13:1-5
The unfruitful fig tree
Luke 13:6-9
Jesus heals on the sabbath

Luke 13:10-17
Parables about the kingdom of God
Luke 13:18-21
The narrow door
Luke 13:22-30
Jesus’ love for Jerusalem
Luke 13:31-35
Jesus heals a sick man
Luke 14:1-8
Humility ad hospitality
Luke 14:7-14

Jesus tells a couple more pointed parables, implicitly accusing the Jewish leaders of being lazy, good for nothing servants, wasting away their time while their master is away. He is continuing his wake up call to the scribes and the pharisees, asking them to listen, and repent before it is too late.
There we have yet another incident of a healing on the sabbath. By now, this is seeming to be more than a coincidence - maybe Jesus is deliberately healing people on the sabbath in order to wind up the Pharisees, or maybe he healed plenty of people on other days but they never complained about that, so the gospel writers didn’t bother to record those incidents. Whatever the reason, this time Jesus offers a justification for healing on the sabbath. The sabbath is a good day for healing someone - God’s special day. It’s not a day for denying people something good - you don’t refuse to give your animals a drink on the sabbath, he tells them, so why not heal someone on this day?
Jesus’ reckless mood surfaces again as he rejects advice to avoid Herod. “Go tell that fox...” he says, not words calculated to please. he is on his way to Jerusalem, and on his way to die there. He sees himself in the line of prophets who were murdered in Jerusalem, whose tombs are there to this day in a show of piety that conveniently ignores the fact that the first hearers of their message rejected them to the point of killing them.

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