Thursday, July 27, 2006

Jesus, Are You Serious?

Was making my way though Luke yesterday, and found I really couldn't make it past Luke 6. It was just messing with my head far too much, I couldn't just move on.

I loved the bit about Jesus being Lord of the Sabbath, how love is more important than regulations, that even David went into the temple to eat the 'don't touch this' bread when he was hungry. Encouraging, affirming, good. Same again with the healing of the dudes hand in the temple.

Jesus spends some time praying, thats always a good thing.

Then its on to Luke's version of the Beatitudes, which may or may not have been an account of the similar message given in Matt 5-7. Some very interesting concepts there, but ok.

I like the idea in verse 27, love your enemies (liking the idea isn't the same as saying I'm that good at it-still working on that one!) I get the concept behind turning the other cheek, buIt then Jesus comes out witht his:

'Give to everyone who asks you, and if anyone takes what belongs to you, do not ask for it back'.

That stopped me, how seriously do we take that? Like, do we literally, every time somebody asks us for money, give it to them? Do we actually just not worry about it when somebody steals our car? Do we, as a friend once termed it, commit financial suicide?

Similarly, when Jesus asks us 'sell everything you have and give it to the poor' are we actually meant to do that? Even the most hardline 'I take everything in the Bible to be literally true' people I know don't do that! Why not??

I dunno, what do we do with this? Do we just put it in the too hard basket, and keep reading until we find something that fits nicely with our middle class Western worldview? Why have I never heard this preached on in church?

Is it one of those ones where Jesus is clearly over-exagerating a statement-ala 'ripping your eye out if it causes you to sin', so as to illustrate a point he's really passionate about? Haven't had the chance to look up too many commentaries/study guides yet, but I wanna let this one roll around in my head for a while longer, so I'll stick with it.


Matt Glover said...

Can I have your car?

Digger said...

Yeah no worries.

Digger said...

And of course I'll have yours.

Anonymous said...

You owe me 3 beers.........

Stephen said...

Thanks for tonight Digs, I had a great time. You really need to tighten up some of those questions. Like the one about the Tyabb cricket final. That was very tight.

Now about this passage. What is going on north and south of it? Context baby. Let me know and we can chat then...

Digger said...

Haha, yeah I definitely copped a bit of flak for a few of the questions! Thats the problem with writing them all from my own knowledge.

But that Narnia question was definitely your fault, I totally explained it clearly! I was looking for the order in which they appear, the order in which you'd read them if you bought them from a shop.

Yeah haven't done the research yet on the verse, will see how I go. Hopefully post some more here.

mason said...

hey digs.
love it that Jesus tells us to do that! And i love having enough money to be able to splurge on people (like nice prezzies, general help-out stuff) when i want to. Mind you, i have got into trouble a few times with giving out money 'just cos'. A few eg's:

1. On the india trip, one of my fellow students had run outta most of his money once we hit singapore on the way home. He wanted to buy some electronic gadget that was cheaper in Singapore than in oz. I thought, no worries, i had no qualms lending him the money, he said he was expecting to get a job on returning home, and he'd pay me back over time (i was in no hurry for the money).
Anyway, a few weeks after we'd arrived home in Oz, dad kept asking 'has *insert name here* given you the money back yet?' and i was like 'no, don't worry about it, i trust him, i'm in no hurry'.
However, dad kinda took it into his own hands, and spoke to this guys parents. Turns out this dude hadn't told his parents he owed me the money (it was a fairly substantial amount), and that his job hadn't worked out afterall. His parents weren't happy and got him to cash in the gadget he'd bought, give me the money, and they covered the rest. His mum had a chat to me - i was so confused, i thought i was doing a good thing by not holding too closely to my money, but she was saying 'be more careful, people will rip you off otherwise' basically. Anyway, i still felt that if i were in the same position i'd do it again, because
1. i had no reason not to trust the guy and
2. i had reason to believe that someone else might lend him the money if i hadn't.
Perhaps there were reasons i shouldn't have leant the money too:
This kid had been told to save his money for Singapore and hadn't done so.
Also, the thing he wanted was definitely a 'luxury' item that he just 'really wanted', so maybe it wasn't a good thing to contribute to, however, i still didn't really feel a substantial reason not to.

second example (sorry this is so long!) is with a younger chick who had been to youth group a few times. For her b'day she was getting a concert ticket, however, she couldn't go unless someone (who'd have to buy their own ticket) could also come. She asked me to come, but it wasn't a concert i was keen for, but i felt bad for her - i didn't want her to miss out on the concert cos of me. Her sister couldn't afford to go, so i offered to pay for her sisters ticket. This chick wasn't someone i knew really well, but i thought, why not be generous?
So i gave her the money for the ticket, and that was all good, but upon reflection i thought that there were two things i had to be careful of:
1. again, it was kind of an extravaganse thing
2. was i, in some way, shape or form, trying to 'buy' her friendship or get in her good books in the wrong kind of way by buying the ticket for her sis? were my motivations in giving right?
After giving the money, i just didn't feel completely right about it, however, it may have been that greedy, instinctive human nature in me - i don't know!
So this is a topic that i take pretty seriously/think about a bit. And i think that there is a balance between throwing money or possessions around, and holding too tightly to material stuff, and also, making sure we don't get taken advantage of (but then again, even if we do get taken advantage of, oftentimes, i reckon it's worth the risk of being generous). I also think it's important to keep our perspectives in check, in terms of what our possessions and money really mean in the big, God-scheme of things - it's much easier to let go of stuff that way!

And i always think of AB when i think about this topic: he's such an awesome example of someone who gives freely: i always think about it in relation to the way that he drives around people who have no other way of getting places (without a second thought, with no expectation of return, even tho he's not exactly rolling in cash, and even tho a lot of times, it's totally out of his way), and he does stuff like giving driving lessons to some of the Sudanese boys, and devoting a heap of time to making CD's of their home-made music with them, as well as hanging out and spending real time with some of the guys who really not many others would take the time to do so with. i think he's a great example of generosity and giving. sorry, couldn't help myself!! (AB, if you read this....well....not like you didn't know i thought so highly of you in the first place!!!)

anyhoo digs, thanks for listening!!!

Mim said...

Ha ha mase, good to hear I'm not the only 1 that gets told off bout this kind of stuff- mum has even started stealing some of my mail- which puts me in an narsty position of having to choose wether to go against my parents...anyway.

As for the text- think Jesus was talking about not getting so caught up in wordly stuff and how what is often considered great (eg. wealth) really isn't. The Love subject was also brought up- so I think that if our greed and posessions get in the way of loving others then we really need to watch it and maybe getting rid of everything is needed to do that. - what that always looks like practically I'm not sure!