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Introduction to Christianity with Luke
Chapter 18

Luke 18:1-8: The dishonest judge

Renaissance painting of people listening to a preacher

 This reminds me of

Luke 11:11 “If your child asks you, his father, for a fish, would you give him a snake instead? 12Or if your child asks you for an egg, would you give him a scorpion? 13Even though you’re evil, you know how to give good gifts to your children. So how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him?”

Even though people are imperfect and selfish, they’ll give in to your persistence.  This teaches us to be persistent with God.  Jesus guarantees he’ll give them justice quickly.  But will there be any who have faith in this guarantee when he returns?  People don’t ask God for a miracle because they don’t have faith.  This really challenges me since I don’t perfectly walk in this attitude.  It’s not that God’s incapable, I just don’t have faith enough to ask him for everything.

Mark 9:24 The child’s father cried out at once, “I believe! Help my lack of faith.”

Luke 18:9-14: The prayers of a pharisee and a tax collector

A pharisee and a tax collector praying While we’re talking about prayer, Jesus warns us that God doesn’t respond because of how good we are, but because of our admission of being incapable of helping ourselves.

Confidence in our own righteousness is pride, which causes us to despise God’s precious children who don’t look so perfect.  As long as we have such attitudes, our theology’s out of whack.  Thinking we’re good enough for God makes us obnoxious in his eyes and unworthy of his forgiveness.

Luke 18:15-17: Jesus wants children to come to him

This reminds me of something that Chuck Missler said,

“There’s two groups of people who understand multidimensional physics: highly trained scientists, and little children”

Jesus teaching children As we’re educated, we’re taught to understand the world solely in terms of what we can perceive naturally.  This conditions us to reject the supernatural dimensions.  Kids innately believe in God but lose this with “education” and with the hard knocks of life in an imperfect world.

While I spend a lot of time in academic arguments in support of the truth of the Bible, the ultimate answers come through connecting with the supernatural dimension.  Defending the truth of God’s word merely helps break down conditioning against the supernatural.  In the end we need to let go of trying to understand everything through natural perception, as is natural for kids.  Then we can get to know God as our Father, who loves us and wants nothing more than to be with us.  To achieve this, he even sent his only son, Jesus, who was perfect, to die for us.

Luke 18:18-30: How to inherit eternal life

A camel in front of the eye of the needle gate' We can only enter Heaven by offloading all the baggage we depend upon.  That’s why it’s difficult for a rich man to enter Heaven.  They depend on their wealth, so they don’t see the need to depend on God instead.  Those who worship science depend on the understanding of people who reject the need to depend on God.

In ancient Israel, they’d lock up the big city gates at night, but leave a small gate for individuals to come through.  If a traveller arrived after dark, the only way they could enter the city would be if they unloaded their camel and brought it through on its knees.  I’ve heard this little gate was called “the eye of a needle”.

Luke 18:31-34: Jesus foretells his death and resurrection

There’s hundreds of prophecies in the Old Testament about the coming Messiah.  Usually, prophecies are hard to make perfect sense of before the event, and even after, some still aren’t clear.  In hindsight, Jesus fulfilled dozens of prophecies about God being born to a virgin and suffering for our sins.

Isaiah 7:14 So the Lord himself will give you this sign: A virgin will become pregnant and give birth to a son, and she will name him Immanuel [God Is With Us]

Daniel 9:26 But after the sixty-two sets of seven time periods [~32AD], the Anointed One will be cut off and have nothing. …

Isaiah 53 graphically describes Jesus’ crucifixion.

Psalm 22 describes his feeling of abandonment on the cross.

But many more prophecies describe a conqueror who will destroy Israel’s enemies and establish an eternal kingdom.  The self-righteous religious dudes saw this as a promise of their world domination.  Those other prophecies were disregarded.

Luke 18:35-43: Jesus heals a blind man

Jesus heals a blind man After telling the discipled about his coming execution, this blind guy causes a stir as Jesus is passing by.  He knows Jesus is the “Son of David”, which is a title of the coming Messiah.  As his eyes are opened to this spiritual reality, his faith heals his physical eyes.  However, many who see in the natural remain blinded to the supernatural.