Friday, May 17, 2013

Thoughts on Luke and John

Are you still hanging in there reading through the New Testament with us?  

I encourage you if you are behind, to just start with TODAY's reading.  There's no point in trying to play catch up, it's just more overwhelming.  The point of this is to become more familiar with the New Testament, starting from today's reading and continuing is better than getting overwhelmed at trying to catch up and then not reading at all.

Today's reading is John chapters 13-17 

When do you do your bible reading?  I've been doing mine in the morning, I just got back on a solid morning routine.  I also sometimes do some reading before bed.  I'm a day behind, I'm going to have to read tonite's reading 13-17 before bed or later in the day, I just finished up yesterdays reading this morning.  

Do you ever have this happen?  You're reading... and your eyes are "reading" the words, but your mind is somewhere else completely?  Yeah... that happens.  Something I try to do to combat that is to LISTEN to it as well as read it.  If you go to there are audio options as well. 

Also I realized that I can read 5 chapters, and take notes, and then have no idea what I just read like 5 minutes later.  So this morning, I set up a table in my notes and used one column to give a short summary of the main events, and then write any verses that I thought were interesting in another column.  Then I went and reviewed it.  Super helpful in remembering.  


I like Luke.  It's an "orderly account"  Luke 1:3.  I think this is written a bit more in the way we think.   More detail.

I always forget that the Old Testament law and sacrificial system is still in play for the New Testament.  I think I figure because it's the New Testement that it's been done away with, but it's still going.  I think this dawned on me when I was reading about Zachariah's service in the temple.

Here's a question I have.  How did they get direct quotes from people?  Or are these just what people remember?  I have a pretty bad memory, so I'm not sure I could remember these things, however what is written down is pretty detailed.  So did Luke go and do interviews with people?

Well... yesterday in the lunch line (this was the first time we've eaten lunch on base, it was salad bar so we paid our $1 and ate salad) I asked Plamena Williamson this very question.  Plamena is the SBS director here for YWAM Honolulu.  She is BRILLIANT, she knows the bible really well and teaches all over the world.  I'm so grateful that Jess gets be under her and learn from her!  

Anyway, she reminded me that Luke traveled with Paul, and probably did meet a lot of these people, as well as use the other gospels that were already written.  She used an example of Mary's song, that Luke most likely went and interviewed Mary when he was traveling with Paul.  She also said that cultures that are more oral tradition based are better at remembering things people say.  

How awesome is it that we have first hand accounts of people that actually spent time with Jesus.  

Reading about the story of Jesus sitting in the temple as a child made me wonder about His childhood.  What was that like?  Did He have the terrible twos?  Did He go through a season of teenage angst?  His public ministry didn't start until He was 30.  30 years... that seems like a long time for God just to be a regular man, doing regular things.

In Luke 5 they recall the story of the man being lowered on the mat through the ceiling.  If I'm remembering correctly this has also been told in Matthew and Mark.  This has to be like one of the highlights of Jesus' ministry and a story that got talked about a lot.  The audaciousness of someone digging through the roof to lower their friend down.  I want those kind of friends.  :)  

Here's a zinger...

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?"   - Luke 6:46 Ouch.

Or how about this one... 

"In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples." - Luke 14:33

Or maybe this one?  

"He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight." - Luke 16:15

Or how about this one?  

 'Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’” - Luke 17:9

Every time I read through the scriptures, I realize how serious Jesus is.  I think American Jesus is a lot friendlier and polite than the real Jesus.  He's pretty serious and sometimes even seems harsh about the realities of following Him.  I guess it IS the most loving thing to do, to truly admonish us to live lives like He's telling us to live, because He knows it's in our best interest.  You should read that sentence again.   

It also seems to me that Luke seems to emphasize all of the sinners that Jesus is spending time with, instead of focusing on the arguments he's having with the religious leaders.  Whereas Matthew and John really seem to emphasize the arguments.  Did it seem that way to you?  

Other interesting things... 

Angels don't die?  Matt 20:36

What do you think the praise was like at the temple after Jesus was resurrected in Matt 24:53 :)  I don't think it was a somber celebration.  I'm smiling even thinking about it!  

The Gospel of John

I think the gospel of John must have been written to an audience of Jews and Gentiles.  In John 1:38 he explains what rabbi means, but he starts out his gospel with "in the beginning  which is how Genesis is started out.   

There is a lot of familiar one liners in John.  It's interesting that a huge emphasis has been put on being "born again" in American Christianity but only John includes this teaching of Jesus in his gospel.  

The story of the invalid who was trying to get into the pool stuck out to me in John 5:38.  It reminded me that sometimes we don't need conventional religious wisdom, we just need an encounter with the living God.  

I'm not trying to open up the calvinist debate but John 6 sounds like God is choosing people, but then in vs 50 he says that anyone may eat... then in vs 65 it says that no one cane come unless the Father has enabled them.  

In chapter 7 it's funny to see Jesus' brothers encouraging him to go work the crowd more or less.  Again, conventional wisdom... 

I liked John 8:44 that tells us the character of the devil.  That he's always lying.  

Jesus got accused of being demon possessed a lot.  

Jesus continues in John with a lot of I AM statements... I am the good shepherd, I am the gate, I am the resurrection and the life, I am the light of the world.  

John 11:16 - Thomas... what are you saying?  It's funny whenever the disciples speak... are they ever quoted saying anything intelligent?  :)  

I think its crazy that in John 12... they were mad at Jesus and Lazarus and wanted to kill them both.  

Two more verses that stuck out to me.  

John 12:31b - " the prince of this world will be driven out." 

John 12:48 ..."for they loved human praise more than praise from God."  

Engage:  Are you reading with us?  What's been standing out to you?  Let us know in the comments.  

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