Reading through Luke still and articulating a lot of big things that I’ve never ever realized before. Understanding a bit more of the meaty passages that I’ve never really understood. They always seemed random and disconnected in the scope of what is happening at the time. Here’s something Jesus says, after telling a parable to his disciples, and then suddenly, he turns to the Pharisees (who are sneering at him) and addresses them in this manner:
“The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it. It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.”
– Luke 16:16
Jesus is always dropping these rants everywhere. and I never really knew what the fudge he was talking about, but my friend Lawrence taught me, if you don’t understand, just look at the passages immediately before and after, and you will get some sagely insight into whatever you are reading.
So before, Jesus is rebuking the Pharisees “who loved money”, telling them, “You cannot serve both God and money.”
And afterwards, Jesus tells a story about a rich man who died and went to Hades where he was tormented. He looks up and sees Abraham and Lazarus, and cries for help, but Abraham tells him that nobody can cross the great chasm that divides their worlds. So the rich guy is like please send Lazarus to warn my family who are still living. But Abraham tells him, “They have Moses and the Prophets; let them listen to them.” And at the end, he adds, “If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”
So the vibe I am getting from all of these, is this: That the nature of the human heart is one of the hardest things to change.
To transform our very nature, is one of the greatest miracles. People long for large, and grand acts of God’s potency, flashes of lightning, burning bushes, but if you want to see a miracle, talk to the churchies around you. Listen to what they have to say. Some of the people around you are living testaments, walking, breathing miracles, of how great our God is. But having said that, this is also a warning for those of us who feel like our hearts are getting cold and unchanged. All of these quotes are warnings as well!
“It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.”
“If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.”
So let us watch ourselves, and turn to the one who does have the power to change hearts, to change lives, to transform the soul. For what we give to him will last forever, but what we do for ourselves will slip and wane.
Today I had a date with my friend Nathan Yau, because he is leaving forever to work overseas! Oh noes. I never really got to talk to Nathan much, but he had so much to say I was so convicted by his lessons and words of encouragement. He taught me how time is such a valuable thing we’ve been given, and that we should use it with God in mind, cos if it weren’t for him, it wouldn’t even be ours to spend in the first place. He taught me how men and women are wired really different in some aspects. What he’s experienced, is that for women, if you can love them and give time to them, they will grow and listen and flourish. With men on the other hand, we need a different kind of love. We need discipline, we need hard rebukes sometimes, you need to be like Murphy stop pissing your time away, and I will feel loved. I will know that you care! And a lot of Christians have a very grounded belief that Jesus was real, his teachings were real; but a lot of us will fall away from faith, simply because they weren’t loved during our time at church. Jesus has saved us, but there is still a call to obedience, he has still given us authority as a part of his church, to love, to walk in his ways. So let’s not piss it away.
Random Rant time!
I was thinking about Spiritual maturity recently. I don’t know why, probably because I was tired of all the studying, but I get the feeling that the whole world has gotten itself into a whole big rush. Everyone is striving hardcore about reaching that next level of maturity, and we are fed these images of mature Christian living ALL the time. Marriage: it should look like this and this. Raising scumbag kids: You gotta give them this and that. And I was thinking, your maturity is not something you want to rush. In fact, I think we should want to make mistakes, to stumble sometimes and have Jesus pick us back up, to not miss out on childhood but experience it and enjoy it to the fullest, experience immaturity, experience heartbreak (maybe not so much), and just suck and make mistakes, so that in time, when we are older we can appreciate the value of love, we can appreciate why your time with someone is so important, we can appreciate maturity.
Its like HSC English, I was never able to understand concepts like alienation, the intimacy between two souls sending letters to each other, or fully appreciate 18th Century Elizabethan Era courtship (see, I still remember this stuff but it doesn’t mean anything to me) because I was immature. I didn’t have the mind, the experiences that my English teachers had. And they kept shoving these ideas at me, trying to rush my maturity, but all the time, it was uninteresting, irrelevant, and having all these things thrown at you only desensitized me to all the content, it became dry and barren.
So I guess, take time with your relationship with God (or friends, family, partners). Put in that time, that hardship, and learn those hard lessons. Have patience, because every good thing takes time. Take time to search him, try to understand him, and let his truths never get old for you. Slow growth is OKAY! As long as we are heading the right way.
“Slow motion is better than no motion.”
– Common ft. Kanye West