Todays readings… 1 Chronicles 3, Ezekiel 16, Luke 12
“… AT AN HOUR YOU DO NOT EXPECT”
We have a lengthy and detailed set of readings today, but it is our 12th chapter in Luke in particular that attracts our attention – and provokes challenging thoughts in our search for understanding. 1 Chronicles ch.3 provides details of all the descendants of David and is of interest to those who study chronology.
Our 16th chapter in Ezekiel is an involved ‘parable’ of the unfaithfulness of God’s nation which had reached its peak in the prophet’s days. The message from God to them, through Ezekiel, was that “in all your abominations and your whorings you did not remember the days of your youth …” [v.22] And of course, their “youth” was becoming a nation under Moses.
But it is the 12th chapter of Luke that particularly attracts – nay, demands – out attention and meditation.
Jesus “said to his disciples … do not be anxious about your life” [v.22] Anxious about necessities – anxiety distracts us from the spiritually important – indeed, vital things of life. Jesus said, “For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing.” [v.23]
This statement causes us to reflect on how much of human thought today is dominated by what to eat and what to wear, people ‘judge’ them by this – even more than by what they say! It is how they spend so much of their income. “Instead,” says Jesus, “seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you,’ and then he adds, “”Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” [v.31,32]
What wonders are in store for those who are members of the “little flock” – but how few are members today! The counsel Jesus gives, as members of the “little flock” – is advice that particularly applies to today! It is to “stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning, and be like men who are waiting for their master to come” [v.35,36] “ … be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.” [v.40]
Jesus also made the point, “Blessed are those servants whom the master finds awake when he comes.” [v.37]. Those who are “awake” will be ready – especially as they know Jesus is coming “at an hour you do not expect.” “This generation,’ (70 years) from when Israel became a nation again (see Luke 21 v.26,27,32] is almost completed. We suspect (but are not certain) that we know the year – but the “hour” we do not know!