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.