Do you know what can make a decision clear quicker than anything? Knowing the consequences of your decision before you make it. You may notice a strong emphasis in this week’s Deuteronomy readings on blessings and curses. Basically, through Moses, God gives the Israelites a scenario and explains that they can choose blessings or curses. One decision leads them down one path and the other down a different path. Whether they didn’t believe him, doubted the severity, or the temptation was just too strong, they unfortunately frequently chose curses. Just to give you a little cheat sheet – faithfulness to God leads to blessings; being unfaithful leads to curses. It’s pretty simple overall.
Starting today, and for the rest of our time in Luke, Jesus is definitively headed toward the cross. In the first verse of today’s Luke reading it says, “When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.” Throughout the rest of our readings until Palm Sunday, we will read over and over that he is headed to Jerusalem. He know his earthly ministry would end and his purpose would be fulfilled in Jerusalem with his death and resurrection.
This week, as we finish up Lent and prepare for Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter, take time to thank Jesus for his resolute dedication to heading towards the cross.
We tend to pursue anything and everything but that which has been give to us. Today’s Proverb encourages us to, in essence, stay in our own lane. When we are faithful with what we’ve been given, God blesses that. But when we seek out everything else but what’s in front of us, we spin our wheels and run into trouble.
- 15-18 – To have a more beloved wife was not uncommon in this society. Think back to Jacob’s wives Leah and Rachel and how Rachel was much more loved and her sons were favored by Jacob.
- 1-4 – The term “brother” is not limited to your biological brother, but anyone you were in relationship with. Technically all were descendants of Abraham so “brother” is an appropriate term.
- A parapet is a wall along the edge of a roof. This was necessary because roofs were flat and sometimes people would sleep on top of the roof when it was hot.
- God was intent on keeping the Israelites pure. Most of the laws and requirements for stoning were aimed at this goal.
- 51 – Though it will take him about 10 chapters to actually get to Jerusalem, his purpose until then has been set to get himself to Jerusalem for his eventual death.
- 58-62 – A hearer of this message at the time would know that the excuses Jesus is quoting would have been illegitimate ones. He wanted people who were committed to sharing the good news.
- 2 – A powerful indictment on all of us who are unwilling to do the work of spreading the gospel.
- We are to care for and work with what God has given us. Too often we seek out anything else we think might bring us pleasure. These are vain pursuits.