Tag Archives: Luke 10

Sunday Devotional: Worry not, ‘let not your hearts be troubled’

Luke 10:38-42

Jesus entered a village 
where a woman whose name was Martha welcomed him.
She had a sister named Mary
who sat beside the Lord at his feet listening to him speak. 
Martha, burdened with much serving, came to him and said,
“Lord, do you not care
that my sister has left me by myself to do the serving? 
Tell her to help me.” 
The Lord said to her in reply,
“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and worried about many things. 
There is need of only one thing. 
Mary has chosen the better part
and it will not be taken from her.”

At first glance, especially for women who are conscientious about providing for their guests, Jesus might seem harsh in his admonishment of Martha. But if we imagine ourselves in the same circumstance, surely we too, like Mary, would abandon all things and make use of every precious minute to listen to, and be with Him.

I, too, worry and fret, even after having done my utmost about a problem. The point of the passage from Luke 10 is not that hosts/hostesses should not provide for their guests, but that we tend to worry too much. Afterall, as Luke 12:25 so wisely and logically points out:

And which of you by being anxious
can add a single hour to his span of life?

Here are more reminders from our Lord about the pointlessness of worrying:

“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” -Matthew 6:34

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?” -Matthew 6:25-27

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.“ -Matthew 11:28-30

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.” -John 14:27

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: What does loving our neighbor and our enemy mean?

Luke 10:25-37

There was a scholar of the law
who stood up to test Jesus and said,
“Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus said to him, “What is written in the law?
How do you read it?”
He said in reply,
“You shall love the Lord, your God,
with all your heart,
with all your being,
with all your strength,
and with all your mind,
and your neighbor as yourself.”

He replied to him, “You have answered correctly;
do this and you will live.”

But because he wished to justify himself, he said to Jesus,
“And who is my neighbor?
Jesus replied,
“A man fell victim to robbers
as he went down from Jerusalem to Jericho.
They stripped and beat him and went off leaving him half-dead.
A priest happened to be going down that road,
but when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
Likewise a Levite came to the place,
and when he saw him, he passed by on the opposite side.
But a Samaritan traveler who came upon him
was moved with compassion at the sight.
He approached the victim,
poured oil and wine over his wounds and bandaged them.
Then he lifted him up on his own animal,
took him to an inn, and cared for him.
The next day he took out two silver coins
and gave them to the innkeeper with the instruction,
‘Take care of him.
If you spend more than what I have given you,
I shall repay you on my way back.’
Which of these three, in your opinion,
was neighbor to the robbers’ victim?”
He answered, “The one who treated him with mercy.”
Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

The above passage from Luke 10 leaves us with these questions:

  • Who are my “neighbors”?
  • What does “loving” my neighbors mean?

Alas, most priests, if not all of the priests whom I’ve heard, don’t define or explain those terms — which is puzzling because the answers are given, of course, by Christ Himself.

Note that in Luke 10, Jesus did not identify the robbers as our “neighbors”. Our “neighbor” is the man who “fell victim to robbers” who himself had done no wrong.

In Leviticus 19:17-18, it is said:

“You shall not bear hatred for your brother or sister in your heart.
Though you may have to reprove your fellow citizen,
do not incur sin because of him.
Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against any of your people.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

And so, Luke 10 and Leviticus 19 give us the definitions we need:

  1. From Luke 10’s parable of the good Samaritan, we learn that:
    1. Our “neighbor” is anyone we encounter in our lives, even strangers, who find themselves in foul circumstances through no fault of their own.
    2. To “love our neighbor” means to treat those who are in need “with mercy,” that is, with kindness and compassion, and to provide assistance.
  2. But the “neighbor” in the parable of the good Samaritan was a man who fell victim to robbers through no fault of his own. What about people who find themselves in foul circumstances through their own fault? This is where “love your enemies” comes in:
    1. Our “enemies,” therefore, differ from our “neighbors” in that “enemies” are those who knowingly do wrong.
    2. That, in turn, implies that, unlike our neighbors, we are not to treat our enemies — those who knowingly do wrong — with mercy, kindness, compassion, and assistance.
  3. But we must still “love our enemies”. So how are we to love our enemies? As Leviticus 19:17-18 instructs, to love our enemies means that:
    1. We “rebuke” them: Rebuke is defined as “to criticize sharply“.
    2. We bear no hatred for them in our hearts.
    3. We do not seek revenge: Revenge is not the same as to mete out justice — revenge is defined as retaliation in kind or degree; to mete out justice is defined as “the maintenance or administration of what is just especially by the impartial adjustment of conflicting claims or the assignment of merited rewards or punishments”. (Just is defined as “morally upright or good”.) Unlike the impartial meting out of justice, “revenge” has an emotional component, which is where “hatred” comes in.
    4. We do not bear a grudge: Once justice is rendered, we let it go.
    5. We pray for them — that they repent and return to God.

Recognizing the above definitions, to “love” our “neighbors” and our “enemies” is a task that is neither simple nor easy. When we falter, just remember this:

May the peace and love of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Offered in humility and love,

~Eowyn

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Sunday Devotional: I am sending you like lambs among wolves

Luke 10:1-12, 16

At that time the Lord appointed seventy-two others
whom he sent ahead of him in pairs
to every town and place he intended to visit.
He said to them,
“The harvest is abundant but the laborers are few;
so ask the master of the harvest
to send out laborers for his harvest.
Go on your way;
behold, I am sending you like lambs among wolves.
Carry no money bag, no sack, no sandals;
and greet no one along the way.
Into whatever house you enter, first say,
‘Peace to this household.’
If a peaceful person lives there,
your peace will rest on him;
but if not, it will return to you.
Stay in the same house
and eat and drink what is offered to you,
for the laborer deserves his payment.
Do not move about from one house to another.
Whatever town you enter and they welcome you,
eat what is set before you,
cure the sick in it and say to them,
‘The kingdom of God is at hand for you.’
Whatever town you enter and they do not receive you,
go out into the streets and say,
‘The dust of your town that clings to our feet,
even that we shake off against you.’
Yet know this: the kingdom of God is at hand.
I tell you,
it will be more tolerable for Sodom
on that day than for that town….
Whoever listens to you listens to me.
Whoever rejects you rejects me.
And whoever rejects me
rejects the one who sent me.”

Our Lord said: “I am sending you like lambs among wolves.

He also warned us: “And you will be hated by everyone because of my name” (Mark 13:13) and “If the world hate you, know ye, that it hath hated me before you” (John 15:18).

So it shouldn’t surprise us that Christians are being persecuted across the world and even in First-Amendment America:

But for enduring the world’s hatred and persecution, we are told to “rejoice” because “your names are written in heaven”. (Luke 10:18) As Jeremiah 17:7-8 says:

Thus says the LORD:
Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD,
whose hope is the LORD.
He is like a tree planted beside the waters
that stretches out its roots to the stream:
it fears not the heat when it comes;
its leaves stay green;
in the year of drought it shows no distress,
but still bears fruit.

Be strong!

See also “Without baptism, we are abandoned to the wolves”.

May the peace and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,

~Eowyn

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