Monday, October 17, 2011

"Teacher, say it." - October 17th, 2011

40 And Jesus answered and said to him, “Simon, I have something to say to you.”
So he said, “Teacher, say it.”
Luke 7:40

History and Context:
Of the four Gospels, Luke gives us the most thorough accoutn of the life of Jesus. Luke was a doctor, an educated man, who was careful to study out all writings and testimonies (most likely using Mark as a main source) and compiled an accurate account of the life of Jesus. He addressed his letter to Theophilus, a roman, although it is still debated whether this was a real name or simply a representative of the church as a whole. Theophilus simply means "friend of God" so many historians believe that Luke was using the name to address all of "God's friends". As Matthew seemed to emphasize the royalty of Christ and Mark seemed to emphasize His power, Luke seems to emphasize the love and compassion of Christ. Although there are some historical points of Luke's Gospel which are still debated, archaeology has generally proved him to be an accurate historian.

The Text:
This is the passage in which Jesus goes into the Pharisee's (Simon's) house to eat and drink with him. As he is in this man's house a 'woman of ill repute' comes and begins washing Jesus' feet with her tears and her hair. Simon, like most the religous people of the day, was appalled that Jesus would let this woman touch him, but he didn't say anything out loud, he just kept it to himself. Jesus then calls him by his name and says, "I have something to say to you." If you continue to read the chapter Jesus ends up rebuking this man because he had not even shown common courtesy of washing Jesus' feet when He came into Simon's house. Through a parable he shows how the actions of this woman and Simon's own actions show that Simon does not love Jesus as much as the woman. He calls him out in front of everyone present. This is the result of Simon telling Jesus to, "...say it."
The Challenge:
One of the greatest hindrances to a true relationship with God is the inability or unwillingness to listen to Him. Without listening to Him we, at best, have a one sided relationship in which we talk all the time but we never allow interaction from God's side. There are many reasons why we have a difficulty hearing, but I think one of them is that we know Jesus will do exactly what He did to Simon. We know that the first thing Jesus will do is call us out exactly where we are at. He won't ignore anything, no matter how good we are at ignoring it ourselves. He won't make anything 'sugar coated', He will call it like it is and not hold back. As humans we don't like that. We like to stay in our comfortable shell of ignorance and bliss thinking that we are 'okay'. For that reason Christians love to have one-sided conversations with God. they can feel good about the fact that they did their praying for the day, but it never really cost them anything. If we ever want to go anywhere in our relationship with God, we have to let Him speak. We have to respond like Simon and say, "Teacher, say it."
The Prayer:
Lord, I'm ready. Speak to me, show me exactly where I am at. Help me to hear you and to respond. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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