God’s Lost and Found Department – Luke 15

lost_foundIn Luke 15 Jesus told three lost-and-found parables in response to complaints from the Pharisees and scribes that He consorts with sinners even to the extent of eating with them. To the Jews tax collectors were turncoats and, consequently, the worst kind of sinners because they worked for the Roman government to extract taxes from their Jewish brothers.

In the parable of the lost sheep the owner leaves the flock behind to search for one sheep that has become separated from the flock. In the parable of the lost coin a woman loses one of her ten silver coins and searches her house until she finds it. Both the sheep owner and the woman report the good news to friends and neighbors so they can share in the joy of their search and recovery efforts!

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Merciless – Jonah 4:1-3

JonahWhale“This change of plans greatly upset Jonah, and he became very angry. So he complained to the Lord about it: Didn’t I say before I left home that you would do this, Lord? That is why I ran away to Tarshish! I knew that you are a merciful and compassionate God, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. You are eager to turn back from destroying people. Just kill me now, Lord! I’d rather be dead than alive if what I predicted will not happen” (Jonah 4:1-3, NLT).

The book of Jonah presents some difficult theological issues, not least of which is represented by Jonah’s memorable complaint to God in these verses. His complaint seems so reprehensible that it’s enough to make you question, “What’s his problem, anyway?”

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Fascinated – Luke 10:20

SpockFascinating“However, don’t rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:20, HCSB).

After Jesus had commissioned and sent out the twelve disciples to proclaim the Kingdom of God, He sent out seventy other of His disciples. They were to go ahead of Him in pairs to every town where He was about to go and heal the sick and proclaim the Kingdom of God was near.

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It’s God’s Grace, Stupid! – Deuteronomy 9:5-6

are-you-dumb“You are not going to take possession of their land because of your righteousness or your integrity. Instead, the Lord your God will drive out these nations before you because of their wickedness, in order to keep the promise He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Understand that the Lord your God is not giving you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a stiff-necked people”  (Deuteronomy 9:5-6, HCSB).

First, let me say that I’m not calling you (the reader) stupid. So please don’t be offended by the title. Rather, these are the words that I’m imagining Moses would have really liked to declare to the Israelites after their forty-year wandering in the wilderness.

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Religion or Relationship – Luke 6:1-11

LetterOfLawVsSpirtOfLawAnd Jesus said to them, ‘I ask you, is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to destroy it?'” (Luke 6:9, ESV).

Luke 6:1-5 describes how once when Jesus and His disciples were walking through grain fields on a Sabbath, some of His disciples plucked and ate some heads of grain.

Some Pharisees considered plucking grain on the Sabbath as forbidden work and challenged Jesus on the matter. The penalty for profaning the Sabbath was death (Exodus 31:14), so this was a pretty serious charge made against Jesus’ disciples by the Pharisees.

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