Luke 15

They seem to have put the chapter divisions around the themes in Luke’s reports of Jesus teaching. We’ve had two scary ones and now a wonderful one.

13 was about the stark choice of repenting or facing terrible consequences, like finding the door shut on you, the urgency of repenting… Perhaps this year is the one when the unfruitful tree will be cut down.

Then 14 was teaching about what repenting involves.. Everything. Status, family, your life, your sense of self.. You need to be willing to let it all go.

Now 15 is about the celebration, the love that awaits those who repent, how no sin is too bad, how that just makes the celebration and love greater. And the passionate concern good has for lost souls. A counterbalance to the somewhat coldly pragmatic illustration of the farmer deciding which year to cut the fruitless tree down, now God is compared to someone sweeping and checking every corner of the house for a lost coin, the shepherd risking all for the missing sheep, and carrying it home on his shoulders.. Lovely detail.

Luke 10

Jesus send out 72, big publicity, they are amazed at the devil obeying them, but Jesus says they should be amazed at their own salvation, and gets very excited about the gracious nature of it and his role in it. He used his classic oxymoron phrasing, given to children, hidden from the wise. He reminds the disciples how lucky they are, many faithful men would have loved to be them.

The good Samaritan is a simple message, love everybody. People find find it so hard, we are born pattern makers, can’t avoid social categorisation.

It’s a story with a tricky protagonist. The question is “who is my neighbour”. So in context, it’s saying “I” am the robbed man: vulnerable and dependent, the socially unacceptable one is the one doing the loving, and the love is inevitable, not a chore, its about how we will naturally accept goodness from those who we wouldn’t normally like. But when Jesus says go and do likewise, has the protagonist switched? Is it the good Samaritan we are supposed to emulate and relate to, or is the message of doing likewise a message about not being prejudiced against Good Actions by those we would normally write off?

Martha and Mary… Jesus lived this priority. He would pray all night. He would take time to go and be alone with god.