Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Fri, 10/09/2010 – 12:14
Year C (2009-2010)
Luke / Lukas
Verse: 1 – 10
Luke 15 must be one of the most-preached chapters in the Bible. Here are three wonderful parables that speak vividly to the heart. No wonder they are so often used to preach repentance and conversion.
The question that keeps mulling in my mind after having read the first ten verses again, is: To whom are all these sermons addressed? Are they addressed to the “lost”, to those who are still “outside the church”? More personally: Whom do we think of when we read this passage? Do our minds turn to those we still consider to be “lost”?
Luke wrote that Jesus told these parables in reaction to the Pharisees and teachers who were complaining about Jesus enjoying a meal with sinners (v 2, CEV uses “grumbling” and AV, KJV, RSV “they murmured”).
Maybe the Pharisees and teachers would not have had any problems if Jesus had only preached to the tax collectors and sinners. Their issue was with the fact that Jesus allowed the tax collectors to draw near to Him, socialising with them and taking them seriously, valuing them as human beings.
“So He spoke this parable to them” (v 3 – NKJV).
These parables were not addressed to the “tax collectors and sinners”, but to the Pharisees and teachers. They were actually on behalf of the people whom the Pharisees judged and rejected as sinners. Jesus stepped into the breach for them. He advocated for their dignity. And because they drew near to Him He reasoned that this was worth feasting, not murmuring.
Jesus challenged the Pharisees and teachers to rejoice about every person who drew near to Him – just like the angels in heaven do (v 7 & 10). Someone said: “Only those who celebrate God’s grace to others can receive it themselves.”
To think about or discuss: Can you truly rejoice about God’s grace to people you do not normally socialise with? Will you be able to feast with them?
Author: N du Toit (Ds)