Thoughts on Today’s Text “Jerusalem”

Thoughts on Today’s Text

“Jerusalem” wasn’t always or only “them.” “Jerusalem” can be “us” to the degree that we ally ourselves and arrange power in ways that do not allow us to be for the world the body of Christ, continuing his mission of proclamation, compassion, and healing for all — including the “Jerusalems” of this world. So while the images here include the violent opposition of Jerusalem, the point isn’t their persistent opposition, but Christ’s unremitting, persevering longing to gather Jerusalem as a hen gathers her chicks. Keep that point central — the persevering longing of Jesus.

And with that persevering longing, and not apart from that, we see first Jesus’ willingness to back his longing with direct actions. We have all four verses (31-35) here for a reason. Jesus does not just “feel for” Jerusalem. He acts for Jerusalem and Galilee, precisely in the face of the reality that such action can lead to his own suffering and death.

What is happening in verse 31 is yet another instance of temptation to veer away from his mission. At least some of the Pharisees who warned Jesus that Herod (ruler of Galilee) was already plotting to kill him meant well, no doubt. But Jesus stood up to the death threat, and told these Pharisees to tell Herod that’s what he intended to do. He had more work to do in Galilee, and he would do it, no matter what. Death awaited him not in Galilee, but in Jerusalem, and he would go there and, yes, be killed, when the time was right.

Today’s Text Luke 13:31-35 13:31 At tha

Today’s Text

Luke 13:31-35
13:31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.”

13:32 He said to them, “Go and tell that fox for me, ‘Listen, I am casting out demons and performing cures today and tomorrow, and on the third day I finish my work.

13:33 Yet today, tomorrow, and the next day I must be on my way, because it is impossible for a prophet to be killed outside of Jerusalem.’

13:34 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often have I desired to gather your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!

13:35 See, your house is left to you. And I tell you, you will not see me until the time comes when you say, ‘Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord.'”

Today’s Text Luke 13:1-9 13:1 At that v

Today’s Text

Luke 13:1-9
13:1 At that very time there were some present who told him about the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.

13:2 He asked them, “Do you think that because these Galileans suffered in this way they were worse sinners than all other Galileans?

13:3 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish as they did.

13:4 Or those eighteen who were killed when the tower of Siloam fell on them–do you think that they were worse offenders than all the others living in Jerusalem?

13:5 No, I tell you; but unless you repent, you will all perish just as they did.”

13:6 Then he told this parable: “A man had a fig tree planted in his vineyard; and he came looking for fruit on it and found none.

13:7 So he said to the gardener, ‘See here! For three years I have come looking for fruit on this fig tree, and still I find none. Cut it down! Why should it be wasting the soil?’

13:8 He replied, ‘Sir, let it alone for one more year, until I dig around it and put manure on it.

13:9 If it bears fruit next year, well and good; but if not, you can cut it down.'”

Thoughts on Today’s Text Paul’s audienc

Thoughts on Today’s Text

Paul’s audience is to imitate him or, if he is not present, to imitate those who follow his example, like Timothy and Epaphroditus (see 2:19-30). The word “example” translates the Greek word typos in 3:17. Etymologically, typos refers to a blow that leaves an imprint, like what is left by a stamp or a seal. In moral discourse, the word came to refer to an example or pattern. Paul presents his own life as the typos that has made an imprint upon the lives of his associates and that is worthy of imitation. But Paul himself is not the archetype.

Paul models his life on Christ, reflected in the words “for to me, living is Christ and dying is gain” (1:22). For Paul, all of life is captured in Christ so that everything Paul does is generated by Christ and done for his sake. For this reason, Paul provides Jesus Christ as the quintessential examplefor his audience to follow. He calls them to think and act in humility and self-sacrificial service towards each other (2:1-4). They are to look at Jesus, who acted in humility and self-sacrificial service towards humanity in his incarnation and in his crucifixion (2:5-11).

Jesus Christ is the archetype, the typos that made an imprint on the life of Paul. This is a certain kind of living that requires a certain mindset: not asserting your own rights, considering the needs of others as more important than your own. It took Jesus to the cross. It landed Paul in prison. Paul’s call to imitate him is, in fact, a call to imitate Jesus.

What Do You Think? Here is an actual let

What Do You Think?

Here is an actual letter to a pastor. What do you think?

I love my church, I am very involved and I want to share the experience with my family. My children come to church with me, but my spouse, while he supports my beliefs and desire to be involved in church, does not attend himself. I know that Church hasn’t been as open for him as it has been for me, so when he has attended or when we talk about church, we both get very stressed out.

Admittedly some of my desire to have him with me at my current church is because it feels expected, because I want to set an example for our children and because I want help and support from him. Yet, other times it is because I get so excited and enthusiastic about God and church and I want to experience that feeling with him! I would love him to talk about our collective experience beyond me just recounting sermons or experiences.

Recently we had a conversation about prayer and God and our beliefs and I could feel our hearts opening up to understanding one another. He has also been reading sermons online and we sometimes talk about them. However, when it comes right down to it, I would like him to be with me in the pew on Sunday morning. How can I be both supportive of my spouse’s spiritual journey as well as my own? Is this selfish?

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