How’s it going? You hanging with us in the challenge? It has been a lot to read, but it has also been so refreshing to be washed over with God’s word. Below you’ll find some of my thoughts and observations on Luke 12-16. The comments so far have been great, so keep them coming. Also, here are a few resources that might help you go deeper into a few different aspects of today’s reading:
- Modern Parables short film of “The Prodigal Sons”
- Tim Keller’s outstanding book based on Luke 15, The Prodigal God
- Modern Parables short film of “The Shrewd Manager”
- Tim Keller’s sermon on Hell (based on the story of Lazarus and the rich man)
- Jesus makes it so abundantly clear that having a good relationship with God is the most important thing a person could have (12:5, 8, 21).
- Jesus says that our life is more than the abundance of possessions (12:15).
- Jesus says that the times that we might be most worried about our finances is the time that we should be generous and trust God (12:22-34).
- The more you know, the more God expects of you (12:47).
- Human and natural disasters should serve as warnings that we need to repent (13:2-5).
- The Sabbath was designed for healthful, life-giving rest, not restriction (13:16; 14:5).
- People from all over the world will be saved (13:29), but the door into the kingdom is narrow (13:24).
- Jesus-centered living is humble (14:11) and wildly generous (14:12-14).
- The things that keep us from Jesus are not always the bad things, but the ordinary good things — like land, oxen, and a wife — that we love more than him (14:18-20).
- About this, John Piper has written: “The greatest enemy of hunger for God is not poison but apple pie. It is not the banquet of the wicked that dulls our appetite for Heaven, but endless nibbling at the table of the world. It is not the X-rated video, but the prime-time dribble of triviality we drink in every night. For all the ill that Satan can do, when God describes what keeps us from the banquet table of his love, it is a piece of land, a yoke of oxen, and a wife (Luke 14:18-20). The greatest adversary of love to God is not his enemies but his gifts. And the most deadly appetites are not for the poison of evil, but for the simple pleasures of earth. For when these replace an appetite for God himself, the idolatry is scarcely recognizable, and almost incurable…“The pleasures of this life” … are not evil in themselves. These are not vices. These are gifts of God. They are your basic meat and potatoes and coffee and gardening and reading and decorating and traveling and investing and TV-watching and Internet-surfing and shopping and exercising and collecting and talking. And all of them can become deadly substitutes for God.” (John Piper, Hunger for God, 14-15)
- Following Jesus is costly and the decision to follow him should be taken seriously (14:25-33).
- God is seeking after those things that are lost, and has great joy when they’re found (ch. 15).
- God seeks after the rebellious younger brothers and the self-righteous elder brothers, both of whom are alienated from his heart (15:20-32). Listen to Tim Keller preach about this here.
- Jesus says you can’t serve two masters (16:13).
- Hell is serious business (16:19-31).
How would I be different if this truth were explosively alive in my innermost being?
- There is a new level of gravity and life-or-death seriousness that marks Jesus’ teaching in this passage. If that truth were explosively alive in my innermost being, I would take sin more seriously in my own life, more boldly share the gospel with those far from God, fearlessly challenge those who claim to know Christ but don’t have much fruit to show for it, and see people with the compassion that God has for them. That really would be a way of thinking that would be setting my mind on Christ.