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Wisdom Parables – Assurance

How do you know if you really are a Christian? According to Jesus people are like trees. A tree is known by the fruit that it produces. A good tree produces good fruit and a bad tree produces bad fruit. What is the fruit that evidences whether a person is a Christian? In Luke 6:45 the fruit is the words that come out of a person’s mouth. And the words that come out of a…

Saw Dust and Supporting Beams

“Judge not and you will not be judged.” Some people mistakenly take this to mean that one should not judge at all. If this were the case then Christians could not work as judges, police, counsellors etc. In fact, in other parts of the New Testament the Church is called to make judgments about people within the church. What is being prohibited is not the suspension of all…

Loving Enemies

It is hard to love your enemy. It is only possible by means of the Spirit, the word and prayer – that is, not by utilizing our own strength or resources. If by sight we look at the harm our enemy causes us we will be frustrated, anxious, grieved and from such a place unable to love. Instead we must live by faith. Faith considers the harm and difficulty caused by our…

Paradoxical Behaviour

Luke 6:27-38. Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who slander you. The values of the kingdom of God are paradoxical to the world. The world believes in reciprocal relationships – loving those who love you, doing good to those who do good to you and being generous to those who are generous to you. Jesus calls us to…

Happy-in-life or Woes

In Luke 6:20-26 Jesus starts to preach a sermon to his disciples. Jesus begins the sermon speaking of a group of people who are blessed. This is one of those times where it is hard to translate the original Greek word into English. The English word ‘blessed’ can mean ‘receiving God’s blessing’ or it can mean ‘enjoying the good life in which all is well’. The first is used…

Jesus and effectual calling

Luke 6:5-11 A man has a withered hand that he is unable to stretch out. And yet this is exactly what Jesus call him to do. Jesus’ authority and the power of his word is such that when he calls for something, he enables that which he calls for. One recalls how Jesus called for dead Lazarus to rise out of the tomb and in his calling, he enabled Lazarus to live. One recalls…

Jesus and the Sabbath

Luke 6:1-5 The religious leaders object to Jesus’ disciples on the ground that they break the Sabbath. They say this because in hunger as they walk through the grain fields, the pluck some heads of grain (harvesting) and rub the husks off in their hands (threshing). Jesus responds by saying: “Lord of the Sabbath, the son of man is.” That Jesus critiques the Sabbath views…

Jesus’ disciples feast and drink wine

Luke 5:27-39 Jesus calls a dishonest tax collector to follow him. In joy the forgiven sinner invites other tax collectors and sinners to a feast. The religious leaders have two questions in opposition to Jesus’ actions. The first is, why does Jesus engage in table fellowship with such obvious sinners? Jesus answers: “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but…

Jesus heals a lame man

Luke 5:17-26 Jesus is doing what he always does – teaching the people the word of God, whether in a synagogue, in a boat, on a mountain or as here in a house. Four men bring their lame friend to be healed. Not being able to enter the house because of the crowd, they use the external stairs to access the flat roof. Having remove the mud and sticks that comprise the roof…

Jesus heals a leper

Luke 5:12-16 A man “full of skin disease” falls down on his face and begs Jesus, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” Jesus is willing, stretches out his hand, touches the untouchable and says, I am willing, be clean” – and the man is cleansed. In the Old Testament “skin disease” was viewed not primarily as a health issue as a religious issue. The OT refers to skin…
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