Monday, April 2, 2012

Luke 17

Temptations to Sin

This section is weird, it seems like it is just 3 separate things shoved together.

There will surely be temptations to sin.

Sometimes bad things are enticing, fair enough.

It would be better for you to have a millstone around your neck and thrown into the ocean than to cause a child to sin.

Don't cause children to sin, sounds like a good rule

If your brother sins against you 7 times in a day and asks for forgiveness you need to give it 7 times.

Forgive family, good rule, except it seems to be taken to an extreme here. If your brother knows you will forgive him and is taking advantage of it you can't just keep automatically forgiving him like this. On the other hand, if he is just struggling with something and you keep being there to take the brunt of it you should help him out. This seems like a good rule in some situations and a bad rule in others.

Increase Our Faith

The apostles asked Jesus to increase their faith, he replied "if you had faith like a grain of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree 'be uprooted and planted in the sea' and it would obey.

Sounds like a testable claim to me. Seriously, what would a believer say about this verse?

Unworthy Servants

When you have a servant in the field doing work, when he is done do you invite him to your table to eat with you, or do you then ask him to serve you? In the same way, when you have done all that is commanded of you say "we are unworthy servants and have only done what is our duty".

I'd like to point out that there is a footnote on servant that says it should really be bondservant, which is apparently basically a slave. The most generous definition I found was a worker with no pay for 7 years. So here it is, Jesus is endorsing slavery.

Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers

Ten lepers asked Jesus to have mercy on them, he told them to go to the priests. As they went they were cleansed and one guy went back to praise God when he realized he was healed. Jesus was like "where are the other 9 guys?" then he said "rise and go your way, your faith has made you well"

I'm not really sure I understand this story, were all 10 healed and only 1 came back to thank Jesus, or was only the 1 guy healed and Jesus is upset they didn't all thank him? Both ways seem consistent with the story the way it is written.

The Coming of the Kingdom

The Pharisees asked when the kingdom of God would come, he said it will not come with signs to be observed, the kingdom of God is in the midst of you

I don't know what that means

Then Jesus is talking to his disciples and says that at some point the kingdom of God will come, don't go looking for it. There will be lightning from one side of the sky to the other. People will be going about their normal business when the son of man is revealed. It will be like when lot left sodom or when noah entered the ark. People will just be doing their normal thing and get obliterated. There will be 2 in a bed and one will be taken and the other left.

I clearly don't understand this as I had such trouble summarizing. It seems like a bunch of random stuff to me, basically doom and gloom. I still don't really understand what the kingdom of God is supposed to be. The person in the bed who gets taken, where does he go? This seems to go against the interpretation of there being a kingdom of God on earth when Jesus gets crucified. 


  1. Temptations to Sin. “It would be better for you to have a millstone around your neck and thrown into the ocean than to cause a child to sin.” This is interesting to me. The Catholic church really needs to follow this line a lot more closely. Your take on the seven times seven was also interesting. I think the general idea is good, presuming that more people follow it. Unfortunately, if you always do this you will be taken advantage of as you pointed out.

    Increase Our Faith. The whole “faith to move mountains,” nothing even remotely close has been done.

    Unworthy Servants. This does seem pretty clear that Jesus is endorsing slavery here to me as well. He seems to have no problem approving it.

    Jesus Cleanses Ten Lepers. You do raise a lot of good points since its not specific. I think the parable here is supposed to be about just being grateful for the good things in your life. Of course one could argue that we will never really know the meaning of the parables like when we read earlier in Luke.

    The Coming of the Kingdom. It sounds like the kingdom of God isn't a physical kingdom, I guess. But with the lightening and whatnot, it sounds like it isn't so subtle when he returns. Also, clearly, in verse 27 Jesus believed that the great flood with Noah really happened. “They were eating and drinking and marrying and being given in marriage, until the day when Noah entered the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all.” According to Jesus' knowledge of history and science, it really happened. It used to be taught as literal truth, and still is, but when you question some Christians about it, they say that it is a parable. Others still stick to saying that it really happened. I'm not sure which is worse.

    Verses 34-35 confuse me.  “I tell you, in that night there will be two in one bed. One will be taken and the other left. 35There will be two women grinding together. One will be taken and the other left." 36 And they said to him, "Where, Lord?" He said to them, "Where the corpse is, there the vultures will gather."

    Verse 34 could be taken as two men laying in one bed. But it also seems like in other contexts, I hear man shall not lay with another man quoted as being about homosexuality. Verse 35 sounds bad, but I've had it explained as them grinding mill.

    *update* I did look up Leviticus 18 and the approperate verses, and it does say as a "man lays with a woman." It's just kind of weird to use the term "laying with another man" in two different ways to me.

  2. Looking at some different translations it seems that we are talking about 2 gay guys. Although if you do the same thing with verse 35 some say they are grinding grain. I'm not sure this makes much sense to jump from 2 gay guys in bed to 2 women grinding grain, but the bible has been known to bounce around so who knows. It would appear that this is the translations trying to cover up something they didn't like, I wonder if that is going on elsewhere when it seems to jump around and that is why it is so confusing at times.


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