Friday, February 4, 2011
Read: "An argument arose among them as to which one was the greatest. But Jesus, aware of their inner thoughts, took a little child and put it by his side, and said to them, 'Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for least among all of you is the greatest.' John answered, 'Master we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he does not follow with us.' But Jesus said to him, 'Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you.' When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him for his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, 'Lord do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?' But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went to another village." Luke 9:46-56
Think About: This is a very rich passage of scripture from beginning to end. In the first part the disciples are arguing among themselves as to which one of them is the greatest. To which Jesus replies by putting a "little child" at his side (a person with no power or voice in society) and saying, "Whoever welcomes this child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me; for the least among all of you is the greatest." And by doing and saying this, Jesus shames and corrects his disciples concerning their pride and discrimination toward each other.
Then in the second part of the passage, the disciples are angry at a person who is not a part of their group but is also doing things in Jesus name. The disciples try and stop him but Jesus replies, "Do not stop him; for whoever is not against you is for you." Thereby, Jesus corrects the pride and prejudice of the disciples toward this person who is outside their group but healing/serving in Jesus' name too.
In the third and final part of Luke 9:46-56, the disciples are enraged at the Samaritans who did not "receive" Jesus because he was Jewish. The disciples even asked if they should pray for "fire to come down from heaven and consume them." However, Jesus turns and reprimands them for their bigotry and hatred.
Can we not see so much of these disciples in ourselves?
When we start thinking we are better than our brother or sister in Christ, then Jesus' teachings correct our pride and discrimination.
When we start thinking groups that heal/serve in Jesus' name other than our own are false groups, then Jesus corrects our pride and prejudice.
And when we start condemning religions, cultures and lifestyles other than our own, then Jesus' life and teachings rebuke our fear, bigotry and hatred.
Although it's not always easy to be called out by Jesus on our own judgmental thoughts, feelings and actions when we repent and seek to live as bridge builders instead of wall raisers then the Kingdom of God becomes closer and closer at hand.
Pray this Prayer:
Weaver God, you have woven your creation together using your relationship with us and ours with each other to give rich, intricate and diverse patterns to all life.
Forgive us when our choices tear the fabric of our lives;
forgive us when we only want to connect with those who are like us.
Challenge us to accept our differences as divine gifts,
for we are all created in your image.
Help us to weave our lives together as we connect through these special gifts from you. Amen.
Written by the St. Luke's Writing Team
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