Friday, March 11
Luke 18:15-43 — Encounters with Jesus
15 People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16 But Jesus called the children to him and said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17 Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.”
18 A certain ruler asked him, “Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?”
19 “Why do you call me good?” Jesus answered. “No one is good—except God alone. 20 You know the commandments: ‘You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honor your father and mother.’“
21 “All these I have kept since I was a boy,” he said.
22 When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
23 When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24 Jesus looked at him and said, “How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for the rich to enter the kingdom of God.”
26 Those who heard this asked, “Who then can be saved?”
27 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with human beings is possible with God.”
28 Peter said to him, “We have left all we had to follow you!”
29 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30 will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.”
31 Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled. 32 He will be delivered over to the Gentiles. They will mock him, insult him and spit on him; 33 they will flog him and kill him. On the third day he will rise again.”
34 The disciples did not understand any of this. Its meaning was hidden from them, and they did not know what he was talking about.
35 As Jesus approached Jericho, a blind man was sitting by the roadside begging. 36 When he heard the crowd going by, he asked what was happening. 37 They told him, “Jesus of Nazareth is passing by.”
38 He called out, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!”
39 Those who led the way rebuked him and told him to be quiet, but he shouted all the more, “Son of David, have mercy on me!”
40 Jesus stopped and ordered the man to be brought to him. When he came near, Jesus asked him, 41 “What do you want me to do for you?”
“Lord, I want to see,” he replied.
42 Jesus said to him, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” 43 Immediately he received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God. When all the people saw it, they also praised God.
Points of Interest:
- (v.20) “You know the commandments”—just like he did with the legal expert, Jesus refers the man to the Law. In fact, Jesus quotes the Ten Commandments—or, rather, five of the Ten Commandments. The Ten Commandments are the famous summary of the Law given by God to Moses on two stone tablets. Four of the commandments had to do with relating to God and six of them with relating to one another. It’s often imagined that each set of five had its own tablet: a God tablet and a neighbor tablet. [Incidentally, the two commandments the law expert recited to Jesus (10:27)—love God and love your neighbor—serve as pretty good encapsulations of the two tablets]. The five commandments Jesus quotes here are from the second tablet, the neighbor tablet.
- (v.22) “You still lack one thing”—he’s not all the way there, though. Perhaps what he’s missing is the first tablet. He’s missing a loving relationship with God. To inherit eternal life, you have to be a child of the one who owns eternal life.
- (v.22) “Sell everything you have”— “You cannot serve both God and Money” (16:13). Jesus is calling him to separate himself totally from money and put his trust completely in God instead.
- (v.23) “he became very sad”—”Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (12:34). We don’t know what the man ultimately chooses, but it’s clear that at this point wealth has at least some of his heart. His money makes it harder for him to truly choose God.
- (v.39) “rebuked him and told him to be quiet”—they rebuke this blind man, just like the disciples rebuked the children. This is similar to Jesus’ warning about causing little ones to stumble on their way to him (17:2). The blind man does not let himself be stopped, though. He’s persistent in asking, and is request is heard.
- (v.43) “received his sight and followed Jesus, praising God”—this blind man knows how to accept a gift.
Taking it home:
- For you: Pray that God would increase your ability to love Him and to love your neighbors. Are you better at one of them than the other? Maybe you could ask your family members, housemates, or friends which one they see best in you. Thank God for your strength in that area, and then ask Him for help in strengthening the other one. Look for opportunities today to practice.
- For your Six: Pray that your Six would increase in their childlikeness. Pray particularly that they would be good gift-receivers.
- For our church/ILTJ: Pray that our church would be known as good neighbors to our community and city. Pray for more opportunities to love and care for our local schools, civil officials, and nearby churches.
- To Talk About: Simply put – Jesus loves children. They are a gift and precious to Him. As kids, our faith is pure and simple. We learn from stories and believe that Jesus is who He says He is. It’s not until we get older that faith becomes complicated – mostly by our own doing.
- To Do: Today, let’s celebrate with a childlike faith. If you are a child or kid, share something awesome about Jesus that you like to talk about. If you are an adult, see what you can learn from the kids around you and ask God to help you have a faith like a child.
Spend some time today just playing – maybe go to the park and play frisbee or a game of tag, ride bikes, play a board game – mostly just have FUN!!