Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Luke 18

The Parable of the Persistent Widow

There is a judge who neither fears God nor respects man (This is a self description) and a widow is seeking justice against her adversary from him. He says that since she keeps asking and is being a pest he will give her justice to stop bothering her.

Why is this guy a judge? It makes no sense. If that was the analysis of the judge from other people, no problem as they could just have different ideas about what matters, but for him to say "I neither fear God nor respect man", is so strange. Why would he be a judge then. Also what kind of judge gives in to such pestering? And finally, what is the message here? Irritate people until you get what you want. Terrible.

The Pharisee and the Tax Collector

A Pharisee and a tax collector went to the temple to pray, the Pharisee prayed to thank God that he is better than other people. The Tax Collector asked God to be merciful to him because he is a sinner. Jesus says that everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and vice versa.

This is alright, I like the general idea not to be so full of yourself. I have a minor issue with the "be merciful to me for I am a sinner" thing. I feel like there is a bit of focus on asking God for forgiveness rather than just stopping the problem in the first place, or asking forgiveness of the person you have wronged instead of asking God. This kind of verse also contributes to the following conversations which I have had recently

me: do I deserve hell? Do I deserve to burn forever?
christian: yes, but we all do, we are all sinners and deserve eternal punishment

There is this attitude that we are all sinners and there is nothing we can do about it.

Let the Children Come to Me

People were bringing children to Jesus to let him touch them. The disciples rebuked him for this.

Why would they not like him doing this. Is there a cultural thing that he shouldn't be touching infants? The way it is written it seems like it should be obvious but I don't understand.

Jesus said to let the children come, and he said that anyone who does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.

I'm also not really sure what this means. Are we talking about child like wonderment or childlike gullibility?

The Rich Ruler

A rich guy asks Jesus how he can get into heaven. Jesus says he needs to follow the commandments: 'do no commit adultery, do not murder, do not steal, do not bear false witness, honor your father and mother". He says he has kept all of those rules. Jesus says he should sell all of his stuff and give it to the poor and follow him around. The ruler got sad because he was very rich. Then he says it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to get into the kingdom of God. Then Jesus says anyone who has left family or fortune for the sake of God will receive many times the riches in heaven and eternal life.

I'm not exactly sure what this guy is a ruler of, but if the guy in charge of a place, presumably with a bunch of people depending on him, suddenly gave away all of his wealth and went off following Jesus, wouldn't that cause massive chaos? Also, Jesus is encouraging people to leave their family again which I hate.

Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time

Jesus said they are going to Jerusalem and he will be killed and will rise from the dead after 3 days.

Jesus Heals a Blind Beggar

A blind man realizes Jesus is going by and he asks for a healing. The disciples tell the guy to shut up but he keeps asking and Jesus heals him saying "your faith has made you well"

The guys following Jesus around seem like a bunch of jerks.


  1. The Parable of the Persistent Widow. This is a terrible judge and you make a good point about pestering the judge being sort of a dumb “moral lesson.” He seems to be an unjust and lazy judge. I hope its not an analogy for God since he is considered a judge elsewhere. It's almost like God, if he's the judge, wants us to beg and plead to him.

    The Pharisee and the Tax Collector. When you speak about the conversation, I remember we had this discussion with another poster, which was pretty interesting. I just wonder why a benevolent God would default people to hell under that point of view. While my upbringing was a bit different, Catholic, even after I stopped going to church and eventually became an atheist, I would feel incredibly guilty almost all the time. Once I became an atheist and stopped believing, it was like I was truly free of bondage and my shackles were broken. :)

    Let the Children Come to Me. I'm not really sure either when it comes to what he means about being childlike. Here are some other verses in which God talks about being childlike, childlike   

    The rich ruler. He says in 19 to the ruler “Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone.” This bothers me, since I was brought up to believe that the holy trinity was all the same. I think this is a slick way to get out of the idea that Jesus is God, but not God, and the same with the trinity. The concept wasn't taught until quite some time after Christ and the scriptures. If God is good and Jesus is not, then does that mean they are the same?? It's interesting how Jesus fails to mention a few of the commandments, let alone the most important one. I also included what I think is the same story in Mark. I believe that it is the same story based on the question of being “good” and Jesus' similar response. You can click to view it in context. It also follows the story of the little children. I know I've pointed this out before, but for anyone jumping in and wants to explain this, it seems like there is a conflict when Jesus says that “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” Here are the verses side by side

    Jesus Heals a Blind Beggar. Just some things I've pointed out before. I think we weren't sure if it was the same story or not, but I'm inclined to think it is. In Matthew, there were two bind men, in Luke only one. In Mark and Matthew, he was leaving Jericho, but here he was approaching the city.

  2. The holy trinity stuff is interesting, I didn't know that was not taught right away. I guess a Christian would say that the seeds were planted in the bible and understood later or something.


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