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Bible Discussion — Luke 16 and 17 : Bweinh!

Bible Discussion — Luke 16 and 17

April 9, 2008, 1:00 pm; posted by
Filed under Bible, Connie, David, Josh J, Steve  | No Comments

This week, Bweinh.com looks at the next two chapters of Luke, Luke 16-17.

Genesis: 1-4 | 5-9 | 10-14 | 15-18 | 19-22 | 23-26
27-29 | 30-32 | 33-36 | 37-39 | 40-43 | 44-46 | 47-50
Exodus: 1-4 | 5-8 | 9-11 | 12-14 | 15-18
19-22 | 23-26 | 27-30 | 31-34 | 35-40
Romans: Ch. 1 | Ch. 2 | Ch. 3 | Ch. 4 | Ch. 5 | Ch. 6 | Ch. 7 | Ch. 8 (I)
Ch. 8 (II) | Ch. 9 | Ch. 10 | Ch. 11 | Ch. 12 | Ch. 13 | Ch. 14 | Ch. 15-16
Luke: 1:1-38 | 1:39-2:40 | 2:41-3:38 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14-15

Chapter 16 starts with one of the more difficult parables, so let\’s simplify it. Parable comes from two Greek words: para (alongside) and ballew (to throw). In a parable, God throws something beyond our experience from His kingdom alongside something we do understand, for perspective. It\’s like photographing the latest microchip next to a dime as a reference point.

What is being compared here? In v. 9: how the wicked know enough to use wealth to furnish themselves with a comfortable future, a lesson we need to learn. Jesus goes on to stress that dishonesty (vv. 10-12) is undesirable in a Christian and thus is not the point of the story. Instead, He illustrates it in vv. 19-30, where a rich man passes up an opportunity to use his wealth to assure himself a better place in eternity, and is punished for it.

In v. 5, the apostles begin a request to Jesus with the words, “Increase our faith.”


Oh no they di’in’t!

But they did. I wouldn’t have had the nerve. I just would’ve shut up and hoped to have increased my own faith.

That the dishonest steward is called a “rascal” in the NLT.

The Pharisees, described as lovers of money, “sneered” at Jesus after he spoke of its incompatibility as a dual master with God. What does He know?, they probably thought. What could a poor itinerant teaching carpenter understand of the blessings God has entrusted to us? And then, just as now, Christ put the lie to their implicit boast that wealth and success were signs of God’s favor.

Steve: Roof
Josh: One or The Other
Connie: One Tittle
David: Rascal

Chapter 16 is a great chapter for understanding the right way to use this world’s goods.

It’s an important preposition, the one Jesus meant to choose in verse 21. Did He tell the Pharisees that the kingdom of God was among them or within them?

But in the end, I suppose both are true. Jesus represented, in the flesh, the promised arrival of God’s kingdom on earth, yet the change He brought, and intended to bring, was mostly internal, focused on the minds and hearts of individuals, rather than the unimportant details of who ran what nation, church or home. And when He comes back to change that, we’ll be quite unable to miss it.

“Then He said to the disciples, ‘It is impossible that no offenses should come, but woe to him through whom they do come!’ ”

As humans, our tendency so often is to evaluate ourselves in comparison to others and the weakened standards of a fallen world. Particularly in our money and media-driven society, it can be tempting to believe that our actions make no difference. Sin is all around us. We can\’t stop it. Well, sin is going to keep coming into the world. But is it going to come through you?

Where did 16:16-18 come from? They don’t seem to fit in context, and there’s no explanation to them — just a few verses of random commentary on the permanence of the law followed by a blanket denunciation of (male) adultery. It’s very peculiar.

The ten lepers. How many times have you thought about doing something (a thank you note or small gift) after someone does something nice for you, but then got busy and didn’t, or put it off until it was too late? You’re one of the nine.

Even waking up in hell was not quite enough to humble the rich man, who still thought that Lazarus should come serve him, or perhaps run an errand for him.

Luke (the Gentile) finds another way to focus on a Samaritan (v. 16) as the good guy.

17:32 — “Remember Lot\’s wife.”

16:31 — “But He said to him, ”˜If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rise from the dead.\’ ”

17:6 — “So the Lord said, ‘If you have faith as a mustard seed, you can say to this mulberry tree, ”˜Be pulled up by the roots and be planted in the sea,\’ and it would obey you.’ ”

16:13 — “No servant can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.”

The end of chapter 17 is a passage used to support the idea of the rapture. I\’m not one to get caught up in end times debates or concerns; in fact, I think many of these approaches are counterproductive. But I\’d be lying if I said I wasn\’t a little curious about how it\’s all going to go down.

How did the leper’s faith make him well? Weren’t all ten healed, even the nine ungrateful?

Are there really 50 percent of humans up here? 17:34-36 make that seem pretty plausible, and it would be awesome.

In vv. 20-37, Jesus makes plain that God has come before in judgment, but no one was ready. In another parable (Luke 18:8), Jesus ends with the question, “Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”

If you fire someone, revoke their access immediately.

We need to watch and pray, and be ready.

Both of these chapters, filled with parables, end with Christ offering allusions to death. Where the dead body is, there the vultures will gather, He says, and those who staunchly refuse to listen to prophetic testimony would be similarly unconvinced by a resurrection. Not surprisingly, this soon turned out to be correct, and the signs would only become clearer from here.


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