Monday, August 14, 2017

Year 7, Day 226: Luke 17

Theological Commentary: Click Here

I love the humbleness of Luke 17.  We get it in so many shapes and forms here.  We get the obvious and the hidden.

Let’s start with the obvious humbleness.  Jesus compares His followers to slaves.  When a slave does his job, should he expect to be praised?  No!  He’s just doing his job.  We shouldn’t expect atrophy for just doing our job.  Humbleness within us should be able to accept that if we are just doing our job then that is all we’ve done.  That doesn’t mean that people around us – or even God – won’t appreciate a job well done.  But that does mean that we’ve just done what was expected of us.  True humbleness allows us to realize that we’ve just done our job.  It allows us to remain humble.

We also get humbleness in the opening passage regarding forgiveness.  Some people can forgive.  But only the truly humble person can forgive repeated offenses without being bothered by the reoccurring offense!  Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t think Jesus is saying we shouldn’t be wary.  Elsewhere, Jesus tells us to be shrewd and to figure people out.  But here Jesus tells us that we need to genuinely forgive genuine repentance, even repeated offense.  It’s how we help people get past their darkest tendencies.

We get another perspective on humbleness with the ten lepers.  In fact, we see how being humble amplifies gratitude.  It’s the flipside of the story about forgiveness.  Instead of humbleness leading to our ability to forgive, humbleness leads us into a proper response when being blessed with grace.  Most of the healed lepers immediately go back to their life, grateful to be free of the leprosy and ostracization that comes with it.   One, however, a Samaritan, has what it takes.  He comes back and thanks Jesus.  He is humble enough to be gracious before going back to his life.

Finally, we get to the last story.  In this story, we find a truly hidden perspective on humbleness.  Jesus warns us that we won’t see the days of the Lord coming.  They will take us by surprise.  Like the lightning, we might know it’s coming but we can never predict exactly where the strike will happen.  Where does humbleness come into this?  Humbleness comes in through our response to the unknown.  The ones who will be praised on the day of the Lord are those who are found doing the right thing and living in obedience to God.  In other words, the ones who humble themselves to God’s will and follow God instead of following their own desires.