MARCH 22 READINGS…LUKE 13
How important is repentance, and what did Jesus teach concerning repentance? Jesus said that unless one repents they will perish…I would say that repentance is not only important, but crucial. We are all sinners, and need to repent…no one is excluded. Since repentance is so important it would be incumbent on us to understand what it means. Repentance first requires a recognition that we are sinners and in a state of sin. Repentance then requires a willingness to admit that sin, and turn from that sin toward God. We do this that we might receive His forgiveness, which is necessary for salvation. Of course, this does not happen simply because a person decides on their own they want to do this. This happens only under the convicting power of the Holy Spirit. The work of the Holy Spirit in us to bring us to repentance and always brings change in the person. Ultimately it takes us from death to life, and brings us to the place where we can produce the fruit of the Spirit. Jesus gives two parables about the Kingdom of God. He gives the illustration of the mustard seed, and talks about how a little seed can produce a huge tree which produces many more seeds. Jesus’ second parable is about leaven. This time leaven is seen as a good thing, in contrast to the leaven of the Pharisees. The point is that leaven, whether good or bad, impact and touches the whole lump of dough. Likewise, the Gospel permeates everything and everyone it touches.
Jesus heals a crippled woman who had been crippled for 18 years…He did this on the Sabbath. The ruler of the synagogue was indignant that Jesus would do this on the Sabbath. Jesus stated that the work of God should be done on the Sabbath, since it was clearly legal for a man to get his ox out of a ditch on the Sabbath…are not humans, and their condition, is more important to God than an ox. Jesus then speaks of the way into the Kingdom of God. He reminds us that the way is narrow… in other words, there is only one way to enter the Kingdom, that is through Jesus alone. He takes great care to make sure that we understand that we will either enter the Kingdom, or we will spend eternity apart from God and those of faith who have come before. Jesus later that day comes to the place where He overlooks the city of Jerusalem, and the fact that they were guilty of killing the prophets of God. Jesus weeps over the people of God, and that they will recognize that the Lord is among them…sadly, it will be too late.
Please share your thoughts from today’s readings.
TOMORROW’S READING…LUKE 14