Monthly Archives: June 2016

6/28/2016 Psalms 85, Luke 13:31-35, 14:1-14, Psalms 87 (16)

This was Herod Antipas, the tetrarch of Galilee, a puppet of Rome and a nasty guy. It was an interesting way to respond to the possibly false concern of the Pharisees about his future. He literally says he is too busy healing people for the next 3 days. Does Jesus actually know the future? Therefore he knows this isn’t the way my death will happen. There is a question about Jesus’ divinity. It is alluded to in John and Peter. But never really by the name Trinity. Is it upsetting to God that we have troubling thoughts about some of the writings about God and Jesus. Alcoholics need to give themselves to god. Many if us have strange journeys through our faith development. Why did Jesus heal, possibly because Luke saw healing as his main point of ministry in life. In Luke 14 he says you should invite the poor to your banquet feasts rather than just your friends. The purpose of the law is to free us, but we can’t fulfill us. Jesus brought grace to take us the rest of the way. Are we searching for a gold star from God or is that a matter of our pride which then is a sin.

June 21, 2016 Psalm 49-10-19, Luke 13:18-30, Psalm 79 (18)

Some think all will go to heaven, but Jesus says strive to enter thru the narrow door. You are liable be shut out if you don’t work towards entering the life with Christ after death. Our psalm implied there is nothing after death, here there is a narrow door, and Paul preached grace. It is a tension between justification and sanctification. After I received grace then I have to leave it out. God gives us many chances even if we keep failing. I can’t save myself by what I do. There is a mystery about this relationship and we don’t really know how this works. What about people who don’t believe in Jesus. What about Muslims and others who have other beliefs. God is God and will do what he wants to do. We can’t depend on works at all because they are tainted by sin. And then we have the spread of a mustard seed. Look at Jesus ministry has spread throughout the world. We don’t know the impact of some of our or other’s actions. He is talking kingdom of heaven which is our lives today, not some future by and by.  Verses 28 thru 30 indicate an ongoing kingdom of God not necessarily in the immediate future. God doesn’t talk about the state of heaven and it may not be on a far off planet but just some sort of revitalization of our life here. Possibly it is more about the journey rather than destination. Worry about what you do here not what your future home will be.

June 14, 2016 Psalms 48, Luke 13:10-17, Psalms 49:1-9 (22)

First, a discussion of the Orlando murders. The Charleston murders were done by a ELCA Lutheran Bishop Elizabeth Eaton opened forums on this. Was he in the club before this happened? We stick to our political narratives no matter how the facts fit the narrative.

Maybe the woman had severe osteoporosis. Jesus switched from condemning the synagogue ruler and broadened his condemnation to all present. Why was the Sabbath so important? It was probably to structure the people and their government. Possibly it is the first labor rule. Jesus said you treat your animals better than you treat people. How did Jesus cure the woman. She didn’t ask for it and be didn’t say your faith has made you well. Jesus challenged the religious elite on the issue if helping people. Al talked about the terrorists will be so bent on a paranoid fearful person who looks for a way to express anger and fears. Are they so hopeless that any thing is done. The woman when healed praised God. The notes in my Bible say she was afflicted by a spirit that caused her being bent over, so removing the spirit took away the physical affirming. Read Exodus 20:5-6.

June 7, 2016 Psalm 46, Luke 13:1-9, Psalm 47

I wasn’t able to attend this session.  the first part is kind of weird talking about the Galileans whose blood had been mixed with their sacrifices by Pilot. Here is what a Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers says about this: “The Galileans, whose blood Pilate had mingled with their sacrifices.—The incident is not related by Josephus or any other historian, but it was quite in harmony with Pilate’s character. (See Note on Matthew 27:2.) We may fairly infer it to have originated in some outburst of zealous fanaticism, such as still characterized the followers of Judas of Galilee (Acts 5:37), while the pilgrims from that province were offering their sacrifices in the courts of the Temple, and to have been repressed with the same ruthless severity as he had shown in other tumults. It was probably one, at least, of the causes of the enmity between Herod and Pilate of which we read in Luke 23:12″

Here about the barren fig tree in starting in verse 7-9 inEllicott’s Commentary for English Readers “) A certain man had a fig tree.—The parable stands obviously in very close connection with the foregoing teaching. The people had been warned of the danger of perishing, unless they repented. They are now taught that the forbearance and long-suffering of God are leading them to repentance. The sharp warning of the Baptist, “Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down” (Matthew 3:10), is expanded into a parable. As regards the outward framework of the story, we have only to note that the joint culture of the fig-tree and the vine was so common as to have passed into a proverb (2Kings 18:31;Song of Solomon 2:13). The interpretation of the parable as to its general drift is easy enough. The barren fig-tree is the symbol of a fruitless profession of godliness; the delay represents the forbearance of God in allowing yet a time for repentance. When we come to details, however, serious difficulties present themselves. If we take the fig-tree as representing Israel, what are we to make of the vineyard? If the owner of the vineyard be Christ, who is the vine-dresser? Do the three years refer to the actual duration of our Lord’s ministry? Answers to these questions will be found in the following considerations:—(1) The vineyard is uniformly in the parabolic language of Scripture the symbol of Israel. (See Note on Matthew 21:33.) (2) The owner of that vineyard is none other than the great King, the Lord of Hosts (Isaiah 5:7). (3) If this be so, then the fig-tree must stand for something else than Israel as a nation, and the context points to its being the symbol of the individual soul, which inheriting its place in a divine order, is as a tree planted in the garden of the Lord. (Comp. Psalm 1:3; Jeremiah 18:8.) (4) The “three years” in which the owner comes seeking fruit can, on this view, answer neither to the three stages of Revelation—Patriarchal, Mosaic, and Prophetic—nor the three years of our Lord’s ministry, but represent, as the symbol of completeness, the full opportunities given to men, the calls to repentance and conversion which come to them in the several stages of their lives in youth, manhood, age. (5) The dresser of the vineyard, following the same line of thought, is the Lord Jesus Himself, who intercedes, as for the nation as a whole, so for each individual member of the nation. He pleads for delay. He will do what can be done by “digging” into the fallow ground of the soul, and by imparting new sources of nourishment or fruitfulness. If these avail, well. If not, the fig-tree, by implication every fig-tree in the vineyard that continued barren, would be cut down.”

May 31, 2016, Psalm 43:1-5, Luke 12:35-54, Psalm 84:1-12, (15)

This is a disturbing passage. We don’t know when Jesus will come and we must be ready. Is his rising from the death his second coming. If it is, he has promised to come again. Does revelations mean something beyond confusion? What do we know about heaven? Is there a heaven on earth or was this discredited by the early church? Why do we do good things for people? Maybe it is because of Christ’s life here on earth. He urges us not to spend our time caring about the material things of this world. But at the same time he urges us to live our lives in his example. As Matthew Henry says in his commentary, we should prepare bags not of gold, but of grace in the heart and good works in life.  These things will last. Having these kinds of treasures cannot be stolen from us. Christ is the master and we are the servants doing his will and being prepared when he comes again. It is interesting that Jesus says that those servants who know about Jesus and yet do not obey will be severely beaten, but those who do not know will be beaten lightly. Jesus warns us not to use the delay in his return to indulge ourselves in sinful behavior and selfish pursuits.