Luke 12: 54 – 59
He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?
“Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”
While Jesus healed those who came seeking healing, he was tough when speaking to crowds. He often spoke in ways that were not easily interpreted, said things that cut to the heart. Not being interested in popularity but still having crowds to deal with, the things he said might hit the target here or there. But for the most part the crowds came and went. It was his disciples who went with him everywhere. Not exactly how we expect a charismatic leader to behave but then he was the guy who said his mission was “to proclaim good news to the poor… to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, (and) to set the oppressed free…” He might be a wonder worker but not exactly focused on what the crowds would normally care about, like being the Messiah King sent by God to restore the kingdom of Israel.
This following Jesus is perplexing stuff. What does it mean to us today to say that we want to be like Jesus?
Noon Day Prayers Question
As we pray in the words of the St. Paul’s prayer, we believe that our Abba wants to reconnect or reconcile with each of his children. Yet in Jesus’ parable of the sower, many of Abba’s children do not successfully reconnect with Abba. Some are too caught up in life’s worries, riches and pleasures and so never mature into who they were created to be.
Jesus said he came for the sick, for those who know their need of him. But many do not, instead are happy with the normal social esteem and self-respect that they get from participating in groups of like-minded people. In short most of those that heard Jesus speak did not have ears to hear. Do you? Perhaps not but if you find yourself disquieted by this question then ask God for his Spirit to work within you all that is required for you to become the gift you were created to be. For no problem is too big for him, except our own free will. So ask for the full gift of his Spirit that you might be transformed more and more. Ask him to rescue you from being swamped by life’s worries, riches and pleasures. Ask him to show you your weakness, your need for healing and release… and he will.
Luke 13: 1 – 8
Now there were some present at that time who told Jesus about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mixed with their sacrifices. Jesus answered, “Do you think that these Galileans were worse sinners than all the other Galileans because they suffered this way? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish. Or those eighteen who died when the tower in Siloam fell on them – do you think they were more guilty than all the others living in Jerusalem? I tell you, no! But unless you repent, you too will all perish.”
Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree growing in his vineyard, and he went to look for fruit on it but did not find any. So he said to the man who took care of the vineyard, ‘For three years now I’ve been coming to look for fruit on this fig tree and haven’t found any. Cut it down! Why should it use up the soil?’ “‘Sir,’ the man replied, ‘leave it alone for one more year, and I’ll dig around it and fertilize it. If it bears fruit next year, fine! If not, then cut it down.’”
Jesus certainly showed his lineage when preaching in this way, as this is very much in the same vein as John the Baptist. He is preaching that the kingdom of God is near and to get ready because you do not know when your time will be up. He had such a strong sense of urgency about him when talking to the crowds… “they who have ears to hear, let them hear.” He also knew that most would not hear, that they would continue on with their lives just as if he had never walked the earth.
For people caught in the traps of their own devising, webbed in their habits and way of being that keep them dead to the reality of our Abba, of the light that is always shining on us, inviting us to freedom – for these people it is urgent that they wake up. As followers of Jesus this urgency of his needs to be ours as well.
Lord Holy Spirit – free us from our own traps of habitual ways of being that we might become more available to this urgency of Spirit. Waken your children to your love.