September 21, 2018

Luke 14;18… But they all alike began making excuses.

            Jesus was in the middle of a parable. In the parable, a bunch of people were invited to a wedding feast. Verse 18 is the response of the people who were first invited. The parable seems to implicate the Jews, being the people of God, but rejecting the Christ. But, parables were given to make a point and I think the point of this one is that we are to respond positively to the Lord’s requests and not make excuses why we can’t.  

            In a song, Keith Green said, “He rose from the dead, and you can’t even get out of bed.” Keith was blunt but the point is not to be ignored. Do you make excuses for your responses or lack of same? In those times, remember who you are making the excuse to. Jesus is loving and kind, but he is not deaf and dumb. He hears from people all over the world. I can remember first thinking about that. I was praying/whining about not having enough money and I remembered a stat that over half the people in the world live on less than $1.00 a day. I thought about Jesus hearing the prayers of a young man in a 3rd world country at the same time he was hearing mine. I quit whining. As we continue reading this chapter, we find more words that Jesus spoke.

Luke 14:26-27… If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children, and brother and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.

            Jesus tightens the screw He started with his parable about the feast. Verse 26 must be read in conjunction with the whole counsel of God. And, really, that is the way we ought to read the whole Bible… in context with all other pertinent verses. From the beginning, in the Ten Commandments, God taught that we are to love our parents. And over time, He taught that we are to love our children, And Jesus taught that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. We are to love ourselves. But, here, Jesus tells us to hate all those same people.  God does not contradict himself so we must read carefully. As much as you love people, you must love God more.