Archive for the ‘First Person Story’ Category

Luke 15:11-32 Homecoming; Prodigal Son

First step in forgiveness is recognizing your own sin

First step in forgiveness is recognizing your sin

We started looking at this parable yesterday. I said I wanted to take some time with it and examine it from a few different perspectives. Yesterday we looked at the crowd Jesus was addressing as well as looking at the customs surrounding this parable. We specifically looked at Jewish laws and customs relating to inheritance. Today we are going to look at the first character in the parable. The one who caused the problem in the first place. The one the listener is intended to identify with.

Yesterday I assigned names to our three characters. Levi was the youngest son, Philip was the name chosen for the older brother, and James is what I named the father. Let’s look at the story through Levi’s eyes today.

Levi is will be 25 years old in two weeks. He has lived under his father’s roof all his life and labored in his father’s fields for as long as he can remember. Levi’s older brother Philip has never let Levi forget his place in the family. Levi and Philip used to be best friends when they were younger, but as they grew so did their competition for their father’s attention and the distance between “oldest” and “youngest” status. Read more »

Luke 12:13-21 Greedy Gus

BIG red barn

Where is your treasure?

Luke shares with us a unique story today. It sets the scene for one of Jesus’ better known teachings. This one starts with a cry from a member of the crowd.

I’m wondering if Jesus has been continuing on with the same crowd or if these lessons have simply been joined together by Luke because of similar settings. The man seeking Jesus’ input today isn’t following the theme of the last few lessons is why I’m wondering. What made him pose this request of Jesus? We don’t see anywhere else where Jesus took this form of requests or met this kind of “need.”

The story is set up by a man in the crowd asking Jesus to tell his brother to divide the inheritance with him. In the Jewish society only the oldest was entitled to the inheritance and birthright. The later children in the family may receive something too, but it was at the father’s discretion. This man, apparently the younger brother, had no rights to the inheritance. Jesus recognized what was in the man’s hear immediately; greed. Jesus told him that he was going to have to work it out on his own or take it before a judge. Jesus wasn’t going to get involved in a money squabble. But He saw a perfect opening for a lesson for all those listening in. Read more »

Luke 10:38-42 A Tale of Two Sisters

Priorities reordered

Priorities reordered

Luke introduces us to two sisters today. At this point he doesn’t share with us that they also have a brother. His name is Lazarus. We join Jesus and His disciples as they come to the home of these friends of Jesus.

Luke tells us that the home is Martha’s home. I don’t know if he stated it this way because the story is primarily about Martha or if she was the owner or master of the home. From Luke’s story I believe we see that Jesus was a familiar guest in this home. I say this for a few reasons. First of all, Mary was comfortable enough in Jesus’ presence to join in with His disciples at His feet. This is NOT the normal place for a woman. Another reason I think Jesus was familiar with this family is that Martha went directly to Jesus to get Him to urge Mary back into her place in the kitchen. If He had been a new guest Martha might have had one of the servants or her brother deal with her sister instead. The last reason for my conclusion is Jesus’ address to Martha. When Jesus dined at other homes He did not set the agenda for the meals. He ate what was set before Him and followed the rules of guest etiquette. Here He tells Martha that she is making a big fuss where none is needed. Mary has chosen the important thing during this visit. Read more »

Luke 7:11-17 Mourning Into Joy

Do not weep

Do not weep

Luke brings us a story today that is unique to his gospel account. This one is very touching and I want to tell it from the mother’s perspective. I want to name our mother Tabitha and the son John Paul.

John Paul is a local farmer. He took over the family farm when his father passed away seven years ago. It hasn’t been easy but he has managed to keep himself and his mother fed through hard labor every day. Both John Paul and his mother live in the same home John Paul was born in. It is a modest little home on the edge of Nain. John Paul and Tabitha are very loving and giving people. They don’t have much but what they do have they freely share with those in need. They have many friends, especially among other faithful synagogue attendees. Read more »

Mark 16:9-20 Mary’s Personal Testimony

"Mary." "Teacher!"

“Mary.” “Teacher!”

We get to take a peek at Mary Magdalene’s personal visit with Jesus today. Yesterday we saw her going to the tomb with the other women to anoint Jesus’ body. She comes back with Peter and John, after she tells them the news.

Yesterday in our reading the women left the tomb but didn’t tell anyone straight away. They ran away in fear. Their encounter with the angel didn’t fill them with joy. It left them with questions instead. These women had been traveling with Jesus for some time and had no doubt been there when Jesus raised people from the dead; Lazarus being the most obvious one. But Jesus wasn’t there in their minds. He couldn’t raise anyone because He was dead Himself. So how could He rise? The question, “What did the angel REALLY mean?” is running through their minds. Read more »