Luke 20: 27 – 44
Some of the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus with a question. “Teacher,” they said, “Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies and leaves a wife but no children, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. Now there were seven brothers. The first one married a woman and died childless. The second and then the third married her, and in the same way the seven died, leaving no children. Finally, the woman died too. Now then, at the resurrection whose wife will she be, since the seven were married to her?” Jesus replied, “The people of this age marry and are given in marriage. But those who are considered worthy of taking part in the age to come and in the resurrection from the dead will neither marry nor be given in marriage, and they can no longer die; for they are like the angels. They are God’s children, since they are children of the resurrection. But in the account of the burning bush, even Moses showed that the dead rise, for he calls the Lord ‘the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.’ He is not the God of the dead, but of the living, for to him all are alive.” Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” And no one dared to ask him any more questions.
When you meet a teacher, a prophet full of the Spirit, then human theological questions cannot stump him. For all of scripture is alive to him by the Spirit, being interpreted afresh for the time and place in which this person has been called to walk by Abba. But we do not get it. We continue to venerate rituals, traditions and theologians, but ignore the teachers and prophets walking amongst us today and in every age. Only a few recognize them, follow them, catch the light beaming from them and become enlightened or transformed themselves. These are the saints and heretics of yesterday and they are still walking amongst us today.
Abba give us the grace to recognize those filled with the Spirit, speaking your word afresh again for us today; give us grace to become like them Lord Jesus, to become true followers of you! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Noon Day Prayers Question
In this era of failing churches, of dwindling light in our traditional places of worship, are you open to meeting a prophet or teacher sent by God to restore his people to right relationship with our creator? Or are you ready for Jesus to come again at the close of this age? Will you cling stubbornly to what is failing or have your heart and mind open to what in fact God may be calling you to? In every age, followers of Jesus like St. Francis have been sent to restore God’s people to right relationship? Who will it be today? Will you be ready?
Luke 20: 45 – 47 and Luke 21: 1 – 4
Then Jesus said to them, “Why is it said that the Messiah is the son of David? David himself declares in the Book of Psalms:
“‘The Lord said to my Lord: Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.”’
David calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?”
While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”
As Jesus looked up, he saw the rich putting their gifts into the temple treasury. He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. “Truly I tell you,” he said, “this poor widow has put in more than all the others. All these people gave their gifts out of their wealth; but she out of her poverty put in all she had to live on.”
It would seem that some of the Bishops, Archdeacons, priests and ministers of this world, if they are admitted to the kingdom in the last resurrection, will be beaten most severely. For it is supremely difficult to fulfill the worldly role of priest, bishop or other offices in between, while remaining faithful to following Jesus. As Jesus said, you cannot serve two masters. Those who seek and accept leadership in God’s kingdom are judged much more harshly than those who simply are trying to follow Jesus or do what the priest says.
Jesus could of course see all of this and so was even-handedly harsh with the religious authorities of his day. Of course he also knew that his destiny was to be killed by these same authorities and that the 2nd Israel would rise from the ashes of his death brighter and stronger than ever. We do not have that kind of prophetic sight in our day though there are hints here and there of what is happening and what is to come. But we can see others with God’s eyes and pray that the Spirit might work through their leadership despite their worldly and egoistic tendencies and that they might themselves have the eyes of their hearts enlightened in God’s good time.