In Luke 18:9 Jesus began speaking another parable, but this time it seems he was talking to the Pharisees, because the reason for the parable is that “some trusted in themselves and despised others.” The main characters in this parable are a Pharisee and a publican (Luke 18:10). No doubt Jesus chose these two groups, because, not only were they natural enemies, but the one group did trust they were righteous, while the second knew they were not. The one group was readily received into Jewish society, but the other was looked upon with suspicion and hate.
Tag Archives: Sacrifice
Luke records Jesus at prayer eleven times in his Gospel., and if taken together, we would find the Gospel preached to us. Luke’s choice of Jesus’ prayers (and there are other prayers in the other Gospel narratives) lets us see a progression of belief, even a progression to belief, in the Gospel of Jesus. I was quite surprised with what I found here, not that anything is new, but to find these things collected into one place (labeled prayer) was, indeed, surprising. What Jesus puts in prayer is a picture of God reaching out to mankind in such a manner that causes mankind to reach out to him. In other words, Luke has Jesus praying out salvation (the Gospel). Read the rest of this entry »
According to the word of God, a curse is not simply a wish for harm but contains the power in itself to inflict that harm. The Law forbids anyone to curse the leader of his people (Exodus 22:28). The phrase immediately before cursing one’s leader is “you shall not revile the gods”. The term gods refers to our rulers (cf. Psalm 82), and we are told that reviling or speaking disgracefully of one’s leader is the same as cursing him. This sort of thing, if done to one’s parents was punishable with death (Exodus 21:17), and to do so toward God was considered blasphemy, and the offender was to be stoned (Leviticus 24:11, 14). Job’s wife told him to curse God and die (Job 2:9). In other words, if he wanted to be relieved of his suffering, all he had to do was curse or revile God, and God would take his life. Read the rest of this entry »
God called Abraham first out of the land of Ur (Acts 7:3) and then out of Haran to come into the land of Canaan (Genesis 12:1-4). I don’t believe Abraham made a firm decision to embrace the Lord until he reached Shechem, where he built his first altar. Later, Joshua would lead Israel here, to Shechem; it was a place of memorial where Israel made a firm commitment to receive the Lord as their God and consecrate themselves to him alone. Similarly, this was where Abraham consecrated himself to the Lord by putting away the gods he once served (cp. Joshua 24:1-2) and received the Lord as his God (Genesis 12:6-7). Moreover, after Jacob returned from Haran where he served his father-in-law, Laban, for 20 years, he came to this very place, where he caused his family to give him their foreign gods, and he buried them here, at Shechem (Genesis 35:4). The altar at Shechem stands as a memorial for Abraham’s repudiation of the gods he once served and his receiving, as his God, the Lord who took him out of the land of Ur. Read the rest of this entry »
Before we move beyond Abraham’s sacrifice of Isaac, we need to see this as our own test, perhaps our deepest lesson to be learned. For Abraham, Isaac was not only a gift from God, but he represented the fulfillment of all God had promised him, but was Abraham’s hope grounded in God or in Isaac—God’s gift? What is our hope grounded in? Is our hope grounded in God’s promise of salvation in Christ, or is our hope grounded in Christ? Abraham’s life shows us that before Isaac, he looked to God alone, and after Isaac, Abraham looked to God alone. What a testimony to faith or more to the point that God is worthy of our trust! Read the rest of this entry »
Never before and only a few times afterward does the Bible offer us a view of the relationship enjoyed by two individuals described therein. Notice how the text describes the relationship enjoyed by Abraham and Isaac in Genesis 22. In Genesis 22:2 it says: “…your son, your one and only Isaac whom you love.” In Genesis 22:3, 6 it is: “…his son.” In verse-7 the text continues with “…his father… my father… my son.” Again is verse-8 the text has: “my son… they went both of them together.” Finally, in verses 9 & 10 it concludes with: “Abraham… bound Isaac, his son and… took the knife to slay his son.” Read the rest of this entry »
Occasionally, we’ll read in the newspaper or hear on the evening news that a certain deluded person murdered someone and claimed: “God told me to do it!” We may even recall at such times that the Bible records God telling Abraham to slay his son, Isaac, as a sacrifice to him. Some biblical scholars claim that Abraham failed the test by being willing to sacrifice his son; others wonder how this act could serve as a test for godliness, implying that such a cruel deed could only be sought by a malevolent being. So, we are left with the question: should Abraham be admired or despised for what he did? Read the rest of this entry »