Making his way toward the garden of Gethsemane Jesus says “Now the Son of Man is glorified and God is glorified in Him”. What a perspective toward the things that are about to happen!
He tells his disciples he will only be with them a little while longer and that they cannot come where he is going. Then he gives them the new commandment: to love one another as he had loved them.
The timing of the giving the new commandment seems to highlight it’s importance. This is what Jesus wants to tell them and remind them of before he leaves. Why is our loving one another so important to God?
Jesus is asked by a lawyer what is the greatest commandment in the law.
Jesus gives the familiar reply, “Love God with all your heart…” (found in Deuteronomy 6), and the offers the second command, “Love your neighbor as yourself” (found in a more obscure context in Leviticus 19).
Jesus further explains the matter: on these two commands hang all the law and prophets. How would you explain the idea that all the law and prophets “hang” on these two commands?
This is a parable about a landowner who hired workers throughout the day and at the end of the day paid everyone the same.
Not surprisingly, the ones who worked all day complained. The landowner tells them it is his right to pay whatever he wants to pay. He also tells them that they were paid exactly what they agreed upon.
The landowner said to those who complained, “is your eye evil because I am good?”
How might we have an “evil eye” spiritually speaking and resent how good God is to some people?
Today’s Reading: Luke 10:25-37
A man was robbed, beaten, and left for dead. A priest and a Levite saw him and ignored him. The Samaritan had compassion (33) on him and showed mercy (37). Don’t miss the extent to which the Samaritan was willing to go to help a stranger (34, 35). It was much more than just giving him a few dollars!
Jesus said “go and do likewise”.
The parable teaches about compassion and mercy and was given to illustrate what it means to love your neighbor. How do these three (love, compassion, and mercy) relate to each other? Can we have compassion without mercy? Or love without compassion? Are they all pretty much basically the same?
Sunday we talked about how we love to win. I admit it, I timed this with the beginning of football season. We love to win! Many of us cheer passionately for the home team (though we may debate the propriety of booing the visitors).
Sports are so trivial – its all for fun!
A serious problem arises when this determination to win characterizes our relationships – when there are offenses and disagreements, sometimes our competitive spirit (or worse, killer instinct) takes over and we have to win!
Jesus, as always, is our example. He was willing to look like a loser.
Philippians 2 says though Jesus was God he “made made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross (7, 8).
He was willing to be laughed at, spit on, and despised. He was willing to look like a loser. “Look like” is the key idea because in reality he was being a winner by voluntarily denying himself for the good of others.
1. Do you agree that Jesus looked like a loser when He died on the cross?
2. The Philippians 2 text began with “Let this mind be in you which was in Christ Jesus” (2:5). Give an example of a time when we might choose to look like a loser.
Filed under Humility, Love
Sunday our high school group planted this cross on the property of our church building. The words on it are from 1 John 3:16: “By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us.”
Don’t miss what that is really saying: Jesus on the cross is how we know love. There were and are lesser types of love in the world, but God (who is love, 1 John 4:8) defined what love truly is in giving His Son on the cross.
This is one of the greatest things about Christianity and really an argument for it being the true religion. The story of its founder and the event of its founding (the cross) is the purest definition of love the world knows. God sent His Son to make the ultimate sacrifice, not just for his friends and family, but all men – even His enemies. There is nothing selfish or impure about the cross.
Furthermore, the unselfish cross is not only what He did for us but it is the example of how we are to live our lives. When we struggle with how to show love in our various relationships we should look to the cross and act like Jesus. Sometimes unloving things are done in the name of Christianity, but pure, unprejudiced, self-sacrificing love is the fruit of true Christianity.
Question: What aspect of love does the cross best illustrate for you?