Today’s readings.. (1 Chronicles 3), (Ezekiel 16), (Luke 12)
We have a ‘powerful’ chapter in Luke today (12) – it provokes many challenging thoughts. The text is made up almost entirely of the words of Jesus. It deserves to be read slowly, section by section. When Jesus ascended to heaven he knew that those who believed in him, and those who came to believe, would face an increasingly difficult time – leading up to the destruction of Jerusalem 40 years later.
Absolute faith in the Lord’s oversight of their lives was going to be essential. And it is the same today! Jesus encourages and warns at the same time, “I tell you, everyone who acknowledges me before men, the Son of Man will acknowledge before the angels of God, but the one who denies me before men will be denied before the angels of God.” [v.8,9] Today we are surrounded by those who deny that a Creator exists, they deny there was a spirit power of God through which everything came into being in the first place. Imagine how the Creator must feel! What wilful blindness! We are challenged by Jesus’ words, “The one who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven.” [v.10]
In the opening verses of the Bible we read “In the beginning God created … and the spirit of God was hovering (or moving) over the face of the waters … And God said, ‘Let there be …” and so his creation began, Let us be awake to God in action – past and future.
One way Jesus describes the first stage of our future – if we are “awake” – is that there will be “a wedding feast.” [v.36] and his servants must be ready to “open the door to him when he comes and knocks. Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes.” [v.36,37]
He completed the parable by saying, “If he comes in the second watch, or in the third, and finds them awake, blessed are those servants … You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.’[v.38,40] We are surely in the final watch of the night now. Today the darkness that rests upon human minds is really great. The foolishness of human thinking today, their blasphemy against God’s creative spirit must not affect us. The religious leaders around Jesus were blind, denying his spirit powers, he warned that if, “the light in you is darkness, how great is that darkness!” [Matt. 6 v.23] Let us make sure we have “the true light” [John 1 v.9] for all around us is in great darkness.
In the Garden of Gethsemane the disciples struggled to stay awake, let us heed the words of Jesus to them, “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation.” [Matt 26 v.41]