Sunday, August 13, 2017

Year 7, Day 225: Luke 16

Theological Commentary: Click Here

When I read Luke 16, I always feel like it is easy to get a muddled message.  On one hand, Jesus seems to be talking about how we need to treat people with grace and build relationship. Then Jesus talks about how the Law is the Law and the Law is not made devoid of meaning.  Then we end with the story of the rich man and Lazarus and feel ourselves pulled back to the side of grace.  If we’re not careful, the message gets confused.  I’ll try not to do that here.  If we study this chapter clearly, though, I think there is a solid message that comes out.  I’ll endeavor to do that.

Let’s start with Jesus’ teaching on the Law.  Jesus says that it is impossible for a single part of the Law to fall away.  In other words, no amount of grace changes the Law.  Just because a person receives grace doesn’t mean that they didn’t violate the Law.  They are still guilty.  What’s changed is that the person is not having to pay the full consequence of violating the law.  That’s what we often forget when we are talking about Law and grace.  The Law is and always will be the Law.  God’s ways are immutable.  Wrong is, and always will be, wrong.

That being said, we are all guilty.  To borrow the end of a parable we read a few days back, those who are forgiven much will love much in return.  Since none of us can fulfill the Law, we all lean upon grace.  The more we come into an understanding of just how much we lean upon grace, the more that we love God in return and have an appreciation for His compassion.

This brings us to the relationships and the life that we live in the world.  Since we are the incredible recipients of an undeserved grace, it is good for us to pass that grace on to others.  In doing so, we receive their love in the same manner as God receives our love by depositing His grace upon us.  This is the point of the dishonest manager.  When we bestow an unexpected grace upon those around us, we place them in a position off appreciating our place in their life.  It’s how God deals with us; it how we are to deal with others.