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  • Writer's picturePastor Tony Pierce


Updated: Jan 3, 2022

OCTOBER 19, 2021 READINGS... Luke 14:25-17:10 & John 11:37

We read from both Luke and John our readings today. Since what we read in John has to do with Lazarus, the close friend of Jesus, and tomorrow’s reading continues the story…we will look at in tomorrow’s writing.

Jesus is very serious about what it means to answer His call, and to follow Him as a disciple. Our reading in Luke begins with some very difficult concepts for our sensitivities. Jesus uses the word “hate” …and He does so in a way that as western Christians we have difficulty with. I had one of our people who struggled with the words of Jesus in this passage send me a text about her difficulty with it. She then looked up the word “hate” in the Aramaic (the language in the time of Christ), and found that our English word for hate has five different meanings. The one that fits this passage is “willing to set aside”. That is to be willing to set aside all things in order to follow Jesus fully. Our love and devotion to Jesus cannot be second to anything else…our love for Him must be first. We need to understand that it is only when we love Jesus first, that we can love others the way we need to. But we need to count the cost…for there is a cost to discipleship. One of the powerful statements concerning biblical discipleship comes from a minister from Germany during WWII, Dietrich Bonhoeffer…he said, “When God calls a man, He calls him to come die”. It is no small thing to be a follower of Jesus…and we need to be careful not to cheapen the call that God has on our lives.

Luke is the Gospel that has the most parables in it. A parable was a story used to illustrate and clarify a point. It was set in a way where it brought understanding to the listener. One person described a parable as, “An earthly story with a heavenly meaning”. Jesus wanted us to understand what it meant to be lost spiritually. So, He told the people parables about lost sheep, a lost coin, and the lost son. Then Jesus tells of the rich man and Lazarus (not the Lazarus in John’s Gospel). Luke does not call this a parable in the Scripture, leaving some to believe that this was a real occurrence. What is certainly real is the truths spoken of when Jesus shared about these two men. We learn of the place the Old Testament calls “Sheol”, the “grave”, the “place of the dead”. Before the Resurrection of Jesus people who died went to this place. In Sheol was where both the righteous and unrighteous dead existed…the righteous dead awaiting the Resurrection of Jesus…the unrighteous dead still there awaiting the Great White Judgement. Sheol was divided in to two parts. The righteous dead resided in “Paradise” or “Abraham’s Bosom”. The unrighteous dead reside in torment in Hades. The unrighteous dead are very aware of things, and are suffering in this place. Today Paradise is no more, for “to be absent from the body is to present with the Lord.” Those who die that believe in Jesus for their salvation go right into the presence of the Lord. The rich man begged for Abraham to let Lazarus go back to his living brothers and warn them about Hades. He was told that even if one were to rise from the dead, they still would not believe. He was talking about the greatest event in human history, the Resurrection of Jesus…and even today there are those who will not believe, even though Jesus is Risen!

Please share your thoughts from today’s readings.

TOMORROW’S READINGS… John 11:38-57 & Luke 17:11-18:8

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