The Gospel of Luke tells of the origins, birth, ministry, death, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ.
Luke chapter 16
There are 24 chapters in this book
They bring us through the story of Jesus - the reason for this season.
I also include in the bottom or comments some “extras” like short videos and songs that you may have never heard (or artists you may not know) that resonate with me during this holiday time.
Each post will start with who is who so that you can get a solid understanding of what this chapter is about. I encourage you to read the chapter in your own Bible after you read this. If you don’t have a Bible there are lots of free apps. I use several versions in my studying to ensure I have a full understanding of what I’ve read.
This is my commentary.
Who was Luke?
A physician, a researcher, a traveling friend of Paul (mentioned in Colossians 4:14; 2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 1:24), perhaps someone researching facts to help the legal case for Paul while in prison in Rome, a non-Jew, the only Gentile author of a book in the New Testament. He penned not only Luke, but also Acts.
New characters continue to be introduced - new in this chapter:
* 2 rich men
* A servant
* A poor man
* Various Pharisees
You know the story of dasher and dancer and prancer and vixen, comet and Cupid and donner and blitzen - and Rudolph - but do you recall the most famous story of all? Yes Santa Claus is coming to town and A Christmas Carol from Dickens may be in your playlist.
But here are two more stories perhaps you have heard and forgotten.
Jesus tells 2 stories in this chapter dealing with money and honesty.
There was a rich guy who had someone who took care of all his money. Some people told him the guy wasn’t being honest and was running up huge personal expenses. The boss sent someone to bring the guy to him. He told him he heard bad stories about him, wanted him to write down everything he did with his money and things in a full audit and then after that he would be fired.
The servant thought to himself “I have to come up with a plan because I can’t afford to work in the ditches and I’d be ashamed to ask my friends or beg for money. I have to stop working for my boss but I have an idea...”
There were several people who had debts for the boss and so the servant told them to come to him.
To Person 1: how big is your debt? 100 barrels of oil. No problem. Let’s make your paper say 50.
To Person 2: how about you? 100 baskets of wheat. No problem. Write down 80.
Jesus went on to say that the servant was dishonest. But here is the surprise - he was praised by the master and told that it would help the servant well later in life. ??? Keep reading.
He may have been street smart but he was a shyster.
Sometimes people who live in God’s light aren’t as street smart. Jesus wanted the people to look at any adversity and come up with creative but honest survival. He said “So I say to you. Some people may get money in wrong ways. YOU should use it to do good for people who need help. Then they’ll be your friends. You’ll die one day and they’ll see you in heaven.
God sees beyond our outward appearances.
If you can trust someone with something small, you can trust him with something big.
The reverse is also true.
The moral is if people can’t trust you with money, then they won’t trust you with even more valuable things.
If people can trust you with other people’s things then they won’t give you anything for yourself. “
Jesus went on to say:
A slave can’t work for 2 masters at the same time.
- maybe he’ll hate one but love the other
- Or will work well for one and think bad of the other
God and money are like two different masters and you can’t work for both of them.”
As you can guess, the Pharisees were listening to this and they loved money. So they scoffed and laughed at Jesus and said “you’re wrong!”
Jesus replied “you are happy when people like you. You want them to think you’re good and are masters at making yourselves look good in front of others. But God sees inside of you and knows what you’re thinking. The things many people think are valuable are not valuable to God. He hates those things.”
Phew this is a good one. Read that again.
Do you do things to be seen and perform in front of others?
Do you want to LOOK good, or BE good.
What would God think about your behavior and your heart condition. I have been struggling through this one with people who continue to take my work as their own or compete with me (even though I’m not running in their race) to try to run past me. It’s so frustrating. It is also so blatant. I believe in the end a few things.
We need to heed the advice of Elsa and just let this go and move on to much bigger and better things in 2022
For myself personally I need to remember there have been others in my past that did the same thing to me. Maybe karma hasn’t come to them yet and maybe it never will. But I can rest well at night knowing that I don’t do that to people and these people who think they’re so slick will need me one day but I will have moved on.
I want to BE good and frankly I don’t need to impress anyone. I’m a child of the king of the entire universe and I know what I do is rock solid. I just want who I am to also be rock solid.
I don’t want the light to shine on me (even though I have it often on me because of what I do and the results I deliver). I want the light to shine through me. In order to do that I need to make sure darkness (these people and the negative energy it harbors in my mind and heart) are removed.
Not everyone around you is meant to be around you. But perhaps they are there to teach you a lesson. Maybe these things will encourage you to make a change if it’s happening because of your or to you. 2024 will be full of change.
Back to the chapter.
The book of God’s law was spoken until John the Baptist came. Since then, God’s servants tell people about the kingdom of God.
Everyone wants to get into that kingdom
It doesn’t mean you can destroy God’s law
One day the Earth and sky will finish but until that time - nobody can remove even a small thing in God’s law
Using the legalities of divorce to satisfy a lust is the same as adultery. The question becomes two things. 1. Has the law been perverted to satisfy our own interpretation
2. As “times change” who determines which laws can be modified or eliminated.
RELATE TO TODAY
Same thing we are seeing playing out in the news today. Do you read the laws word for word and live to the letter of that law? Or do you “interpret them” to suit you. Isn’t that the role of the lawyer to make the case for how to infer and interpret what words may or may not mean?
In this story - God’s laws remain and Jesus gave the two that matter most and the two that would change this world if we followed them
Love God with everything inside you.
Love others as he loved us.
We don’t get either of those right.
There was a rich man who had expensive clothes - all the latest fashions. He also ate big meals every day.
There was also a poor man named Lazarus who had sores all over his body. This homeless man lay outside the gates of the rich man and was very hungry. He was willing to eat garbage. He was so destitute even stray dogs would come and lick his sores.
One day he died and God’s angels brought him to heaven and seated him next to Abraham.
Later the rich man died and his family buried him in the ground. He went to Hades and was in a lot of pain. He could see Abraham from where he was. He saw Lazarus next to him and shouted “Abraham be kind to me and send Lazarus here to help me. I’m in a fire burning me. Let him dip his finger in water to simply make my mouth cool because I’m in such agony”
Abraham Replied “remember my child when you were here on earth and had it all and Lazarus had nothing. Now I’m taking care of him and you’re in pain but that’s not all:
between you and us there is a big hole
It is wide long and deep
There’s a reason why the hole is there
Nobody can cross from one side to the other
The man said “Father Abraham if that is true then please send Lazarus to my family. I have 5 brothers still alive. Tell them to not do the things I’ve done. Then they won’t have to come here when they die and feel this pain I’m in.”
Abraham replies this simple statement “they have the same books you did from Moses and God. They just need to read them and do what they say.”
That wasn’t good enough for the man. He said he needed someone to go to them from the dead so they’d really listen and turn away from the wrong they do.
Abraham conclude by saying “if they won’t listen to what Moses and the Prophets said on behalf of God then they won’t believe in God’s message or be convinced even if it’s from someone who comes back from the dead”
Perhaps that story is Christmas Carol "Bible version".
Believe what God is saying.
If you don’t have a Bible they are online for free. Read what it says. Try to see what it means to you. These posts are just what I think they mean to me. Perhaps at the stage you’re in in your own life these chapters will mean something else to you. God speaks through this book as the living word. It is for us. He is for us. This Christmas may we be more like Him. This Christmas may we let God take care of all the things that bother us, distract us, or try to bring us down. He wants to be with us, consume us, and lift us up.
#ababychangeseverything #ocomeallyefaithful #olittletownofbethlehem #ocomeletusadorehim #ocomeemmanuel #oholynight #whatafriendwehaveinjesus #joytotheworld #jesuslovesmethisiknow #jesusfriendofsinners #loveandjoyuntoyou #thegreatestloveofall #thegiftthatkeepsongiving #whenthehurtandthehealercollide #youfoundme #thinkandgrowrich
Tomorrow chapter 17
Lord thank you for your word. May I be most appreciative for the things you give me to take care of for you. May I be grateful for my job and that you give me more than I need in life. I know 2022 will be full of change. You know I have wrestled with being sad, mad, glad, and bad over some of these same type of changes the past. But I also know you have a plan and that it is ALWAYS for my good. Always. Thank you for my dad who taught me “street smarts” and for my mom who taught me “heart smarts”. Help me to forgive my trespassers even if they don’t know they need forgiveness from me. Help me to let it go and move forward with or without certain people. Please bring the right people to me to help take care of the purpose we are here. Help me to always remember the responsibility you gave me when I asked you to live inside of me. Help me to give more than I take and to live with less and to declutter my belongings, mind, and heart. Thank you for your promise of everlasting life. While I’m alive may the people I love most learn these things as well so they will never experience what this man did in Hades for eternity. Lastly Lord - thank you for providing for me. You provide more than I need. Always. Please help me to balance the need for basic necessities and remember that the more you give the more I need to give. Let me focus on giving because you first gave. Amen
MUSIC - the universal language
The song that resonates with me today is this one by Cain. There was a different Lazarus in the Bible as well. This one died. He was a friend of Jesus. He was rotting in a tomb for 3 days when Jesus finally came to him and told him to rise up - walk away from the darkness and death and come to Him and have life. He did. And everyone marveled. Maybe you’re mind is living in a dark place or you feel all alone. Maybe this song will bring a new view to you https://youtu.be/QD1U1w1iZCE
Did you know the story of Charles Dickens? I watched a great show recently on one of the Roku channels. I’ll have to go see what it was called and post it. In the meantime here is an animated short about him - things you may not know - sort of sounds like the story of “The Greatest Showman” https://youtu.be/unKuZ2wlNdw
Here's a show I saw. It was really good if you have a free tv streaming service https://youtu.be/7XQtKrX7E38