TOUGH CROWD: Chapter 12 continues the bite sized teachings of Jesus set in a rapid fire fashion. The chapter opens by noting that the crowd size was so large that they were trampling one another. What a picture... on one hand, Jesus teaching how people should live a blessed life, and on the other a group of people jockeying for position and fighting with each other to better hear Jesus talk about peace.
ALL IS FORGIVEN... EXCEPT THAT: Certainly the core of Jesus' teaching is that all sins can be forgiven. Even as He teaches us to pray, He commands us to forgive others first. So it seems a bit odd that God doesn't hold Himself to the same standard. In v10 Jesus states that whoever blasphemes (insults, belittles, talks against) the Holy Spirit "will not be forgiven." Isn't that a little hypocritical?
It's actually quite logical. Since the ability to be forgiven is a gift of grace, and grace is obtained through faith, and faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit, then the person who rejects the Holy Spirit will not be forgiven of anything, much less than his blasphemy of the Holy Spirit. Don't worry... as a Christian, you've already accepted the gift of faith from the Holy Spirit, and because you are now held firmly in Christ, it's not possible for you to commit the unforgivable sin.
HOLY SPIRIT WATCH: You'll remember we're keeping our eye out for appearances of the Holy Spirit in Luke, and once again we see Him today. Certainly Jesus refers to Him in the teaching we looked at in v10, but we all are reassured that He is with us, giving us words to speak as we are called upon to defend the gospel.
WHO'S JESUS TALKING TO? That's exactly what Peter wants to know in v41, and it's a really good question. There are parts of the Bible that have bearing on all people, such as the 10 commandments or the Golden Rule, but most of God's Word is not for the crowds, it's for Jesus' disciples: not just the first 12, but rather all those who deny themselves, take up their cross and follow Him.
WEATHER BUFF: One of the best things about living in Southern Minnesota is watching these summer storms form and move in. Maybe your like me and have at least one or two weather radar apps and you've learned to read the sky. Think about Jesus' challenge in v56. How can you interpret the 'times' like you interpret the weather?
Follow the AAA Prayer Pattern:
ACKNOWLEDGE WHO GOD IS: God who rules over creation in such a way the wildflowers have more splendor than Solomon (v27)
ALIGN YOUR LIFE WITH GOD'S WILL: "Be dressed and ready for service and keep your lamps burning" (v35) as you anticipate Christ's return.
ASK GOD FOR WHAT YOU NEED: