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"Come Unto Me" - Day 11

Welcome to “Come Unto Me” as we journey together through the gospel of Luke. Let us pray: Gracious God we thank you for the Living Word that gives witness to the life, death, resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ. May your Holy Spirit open our souls to this Living Word. Amen

Tuesday, July 21 / Luke Chapter 11

Wow! Luke certainly fills this chapter with a number of accounts: The Lord’s Prayer, Perseverance in Prayer, Jesus and Beelzebul, The Return of the Unclean Spirit, True Blessedness, The Sign of Jonah, The Light of the Body, and Jesus Denounces Pharisees and Lawyers. I begin to wonder if I should read smaller sections of each chapter. But then I saw something that I think ties these many accounts together.

Remember what the disciples asked of Jesus: “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” Seems like a reasonable request from those who had left everything they knew to follow him. “Teach us.” The thread that runs through really the entire gospel of Luke is – Just who is this teacher? Is Jesus a prophet like Jonah? Or is Jesus merely a good teacher like John the Baptist? Or is Jesus a demon on the order of Beelzebul? Or is Jesus a blessed one like the women noted of his mother? Or is Jesus the true light or the true darkness? Or is Jesus a rebel that needs to be silenced like the scribes and Pharisees thought? Just who is this Jesus?

The prayer Jesus taught his disciples is certainly one that we know well. Every night before going to bed as a young boy I remember dad coming into our bedroom area and getting down on his knees with me and my older brother to pray this prayer. You know the words but do we really know what we are praying for? It is a prayer that gives us insight into who Jesus is and the kind of kingdom he is bringing into our midst. “Your kingdom come!” Martin Luther wrote this about this petition – “ In fact, God’s kingdom comes on its own without our prayer, but we ask in this prayer that it may also come to us.”

The accounts in this chapter reflect a growing resistance among some about the kind of kingdom Jesus was bringing into their midst. In fact the chapter concludes with the notion that the scribes and Pharisees has had enough of his teachings. They were not of the mind that Jesus was the Son of God – the long awaited for Savior of the world. The teachings of Jesus must be silenced they thought. Which brings us back to the thread that really runs through this chapter and for that matter the whole of the Gospels – Just who is this Jesus? Maybe that’s the question for our time as well. Maybe it’s the question that we respond to each time we pray – “Your kingdom come! Your will be done!” Not mine will dear Jesus – but yours!

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