When I read this text I immediately want to apply this to other people! Now, this may be a natural response – if only they would do as they have been instructed the world would be a better place. It is always easier to see what is wrong with another than to see what is wrong with ourselves. How many times have we said someone should do something when we know that we should be doing the same thing?
I also like this passage because Jesus asks a question. I find that I ask more questions than I give answers. However, Jesus also answered questions asked of him with stories, parables...he knew that not all questions had “hard” answers and situations were different. What if...? We often want specific instructions, we want things clear and concise but life is not always clear and concise. There are several possible answers – the parables left the answer open to the individual or group.
I am sure that the stories of Jesus caused hours of conversations – we would call it Bible Study today. Each in the group would have his own idea or thought on what the outcome should be. For example, in the story of the Prodigal Son – the older son is left in the field. What is the appropriate response of the elder son to the father's love? Should he go in to the party? Should he stay in the field with the hired hands? There would be much discussion on the proper response. Our response would be different than someone brought up in the Middle East where the whole culture is different from ours. (This is one of the reasons Jesus' parables form timeless stories.)
But let's go back to the quote from Luke. Before we can respond to this we have to know what Jesus asks us to do. How can we respond if we do not know what the question or action required is? What is Jesus saying to his Church today? What might he be asking us to do? (Could be used individually, too.) How do we discern what we are called to do and be in a world that has too many needs and too many possible answers? Where is the clear and concise message we need? For me it comes from our sharing together, talking together, praying together and seeking God's direction together.|
It is looking together at possible options, trying to discern the one that is best for us today. Will we always get it right? No – that is called grace! But unless we are willing to try – unless we are willing to listen to God and to one another – we may never fully know what God is calling us to.
Calling Jesus, "Lord", means that we have agreed to listen to what he says, to do what he has called us to do. We discover that, not in a vacuum, but in relationships, Bible Studies, worship and talking together. Over the summer may we listen again to one another, to God's Spirit and his Word...