Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Year 7, Day 227: Luke 18

Theological Commentary: Click Here

When I read Luke 18, I am left with the question, “How bad do I want it?”  Luke 18 is all about what I am willing to part with in order to follow Christ.  Are there limits to what I’m willing to sacrifice?

The last passage is very inspiring along these ways.  A blind beggar outside of Jericho hears Jesus approach.  This blind beggar does anything to get Jesus’ attention.  He goes so far as to be ridiculed by the people around him.  But He’s got a plan.  He wants Jesus’ attention.  He knows that Jesus has the power to heal him.  He’s willing to risk the ridicule of the people around him for just the opportunity to have a few moments with Jesus.  He recovers his sight; he glorifies God.

Naturally, we have the story of the rich man who refuses to give up his wealth to follow Jesus.  The point here is the same as with the beggar except that it is a negative example.  Are we willing to risk our wealth for the opportunity to be discipled by Christ?  Are we willing to potentially give up our livelihood for the sake of obedience?  For me, I find it easier to think about being ridiculed by others than to think about having less means to support myself and my family.  That doesn’t mean I wouldn’t give up my livelihood; it just means that it is a harder choice.  Then again, when it’s been asked of me in the past, I’ve had the courage to do it more than once.  It wasn’t easy any of the times.

Then there’s the story of the Pharisee who goes to pray.  He thinks himself better than the tax collector.  He finds himself the goat of the story, too.  I can’t help but wonder if I am willing to give up my ego for God.  Am I willing to see my faults and flaws?  Am I even willing to allow others to see my faults and flaws?  Am I willing to see myself as less than perfect and give God the opportunity to work in me and through me?

This is why I love the fact that Jesus’ third prediction of his death is a part of this chapter.  It’s a great reminder as I consider what I would be willing to give up.  Jesus was willing to give up his life.  Jesus knew what was coming and he embraced it.  He was willing to give up everything.  He followed God into death.  He also followed the Father into life.  That’s really the point, isn’t it?