Submitted by Jan on Mon, 12/08/2013 – 22:57
Year C (2012-2013)
Bible Book: Luke / Lukas
Chapter: 12
Verse: 54 – 56

As an essential part of his ministry, Jesus challenged his disciples, the teachers of the Law, the scribes, Pharisees and crowds that listened to him. These different groups listened to Jesus with different intentions. Some of them were healed, others were challenged and converted. The scribes and Pharisees, unfortunately, focused on finding something to accuse him of.

Luke was a Gentile, who was also a physician. He was a learned man who had studied the Greek language. Paul referred to Luke as the “beloved physician.”

The book of Luke is the longest of all the Gospels. He used many different sources, including the teachings of Paul.

This reading begins with the confirmation that Jesus came specifically to challenge us in different ways. According to the Amplified Bible, this specific text is part of a longer teaching, where Jesus focuses on different issues. I find verses 54-56 the most astonishing in this text. It refers to our selective reading of the times. I think more often our reading of the times is influenced by our own passions and interests.

My understanding of this text is that we have to look beyond that which affects us directly. The structural injustices that have made many people vulnerable are a direct result of this partial reading of the times. The Faith community has been in the business of saving lives for a long time, however our messages in response to HIV have promoted stigma and discrimination that have led to untimely deaths. In the presence of all the resources that have been developed, we cannot afford to put our feet on the brakes now. These signs call for more diligent and coordinated interventions to the empathy that prevails within society at large.

The HIV discourse has evolved, we have to read the signs of the times and respond to emerging issues like HIV and Aging; the correlation between cervical cancer and HIV; the availability of Multipurpose technologies that can prevent STI’s, HIV and pregnancy, like microbicides.We need to ask ourselves why young men are still dying of HIV related conditions. What makes them reluctant to adopt health seeking behaviours?

The last part of Hebrews 12: 1, says;

Let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us. (AMP)

To think about: The HIV battle is not over yet until we reach the, “Getting to zero!!” goal. Are we reading the signs of the times and promoting pro-SAVE and anti-SSDDIM messages in order to save lives? Are our children aware of the facts of life so that they can make informed choices?

Written by: Rev. Phumzile Mabizela, Executive Director, INERELA+

Author: Mabizela P (Rev)
Language: English

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