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Unchristian and Inhuman

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Scripture: Luke 15:3   So he told them this parable: 4 “Which one of you, having a hundred sheep and losing one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness and go after the one that is lost until he finds it? 5 When he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 7 Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance. Observation: The grumbling Pharisees and scribes needed greater clarity regarding Christ’s ministry. He was being accused of spending far too much time with sinners. He begins by speaking about sheep, for this was certainly an understandable scenario. Neale tells us, “Saving livestock was a universal responsibility within an agricultural community (14:5). How much more so, runs the argument, is it the respon

Grumbling

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Sometimes he just grumbles at the sight of new food.  Then, you pop it in his mouth when he's crying and wow -- ice cream really is good! Scripture: Luke 15:1   Now all the tax collectors and sinners were coming near to listen to him. 2 And the Pharisees and the scribes were grumbling and saying, “This fellow welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Observation: The people coming near to Jesus were those whom the religious officials found repulsive. Tax collectors were some of the worst because of the ways that they served the Roman government and stole from their own people. This was treasonous behavior for those who should have been loyal to God’s people. Sinners were just sinners in general — not as bad as the tax collectors!   The religious leaders were muttering and grumbling. The word used here is the same one used in Exodus where the Israelites grumble against the leadership of Moses and Aaron in the desert. “The Pharisees are like the grumbling Israelites who would not recog

Salty Disciples

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Scripture: Luke 14:34   “Salt is good; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? 35 It is fit neither for the soil nor for the manure pile; they throw it away. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” Observation: We must be constantly reminded that Jesus is talking about discipleship. He is looking for disciples who are going to remain committed, sticking with him through thick and thin. The crowds of people would have been impressed with his healing skills and great teaching, but they may not have been prepared to commit themselves to a life of discipleship.   To the inner circle he is reminding them that they have become salty. There were many uses for salt, including the flavoring of food, the creation of medicinal pastes, and the preserving of meats. Salt was useful and necessary for everyday life. This statement by Jesus is profound, because unsalty salt would be entirely worthless. Unsalty disciples therefore, would be entirely worthless.   Salt was somet

Serious about Discipleship? Weigh the Cost

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A completed tower in Istanbul.  ***The service that sends out the e-mails has been extended for another month. I will switch to another service but need to know if you would like to continue receiving these posts. I have heard from a number of you, but if you have not contacted me, please e-mail me at CarlaSun@aol.com and let me know that you would like to remain on the mailing list. Thank you! Scripture: Luke 14:25   Now large crowds were traveling with him; and he turned and said to them, 26 “Whoever comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and even life itself, cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry the cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. 28 For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not first sit down and estimate the cost, to see whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it will begin to ridicule him, 30 saying, ‘This f

What Have You Done with Your Invitation?

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Great fellowship around the table in Armenia. Scripture: Luke 14:15   One of the dinner guests, on hearing this, said to him, “Blessed is anyone who will eat bread in the kingdom of God!” 16 Then Jesus said to him, “Someone gave a great dinner and invited many. 17 At the time for the dinner he sent his slave to say to those who had been invited, ‘Come; for everything is ready now.’ 18 But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said to him, ‘I have bought a piece of land, and I must go out and see it; please accept my regrets.’ 19 Another said, ‘I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I am going to try them out; please accept my regrets.’ 20 Another said, ‘I have just been married, and therefore I cannot come.’ 21 So the slave returned and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and said to his slave, ‘Go out at once into the streets and lanes of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the lame.’ 22 And the slave said, ‘Si

Blessed Are You When People Cannot Repay You

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Same table from yesterday's post -- but now filled with children from the community.  Scripture: Luke 14:12   He said also to the one who had invited him, “When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, in case they may invite you in return, and you would be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, and the blind. 14 And you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you, for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.” Observation: Jesus continues his teaching at the home of the Pharisee and now, he’s not just talking about the place at the table, but about people giving up their place altogether. Far too often parties were held and invitations given in hopes of receiving an invitation in return. This was a part of the social working of society, but Jesus wanted them to think about doing things from an entirely different perspective. What would happen if t

“Friend, Move Up Higher”

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A table spread for dinner in Armenia.  Scripture: Luke 14:7   When he noticed how the guests chose the places of honor, he told them a parable. 8 “When you are invited by someone to a wedding banquet, do not sit down at the place of honor, in case someone more distinguished than you has been invited by your host; 9 and the host who invited both of you may come and say to you, ‘Give this person your place,’ and then in disgrace you would start to take the lowest place. 10 But when you are invited, go and sit down at the lowest place, so that when your host comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will be honored in the presence of all who sit at the table with you. 11 For all who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” Observation: Jesus was dining at the home of the Pharisee and the guests were jostling for just the right position. Jesus’ position may have been in question. Where would a good Pharisee put a rabbi such