Todays readings.. 1 Chronicles 4, Ezekiel 17, Luke 13&14
There are many parables and challenging sayings in today’s 2 chapters in Luke’s gospel. Jesus’ utterance of just 3 words are very thought provoking: “Salt is good” [14 v34]
This immediately reminds us of what Jesus said in his ‘Sermon on the Mount’ after what we call the ‘Beatitudes’ Look at Matt. 5 v.13, – he said “You are the salt of the earth” to illustrate the role his genuine followers; were to have, to talk and live and act so as to become a good influence on those around them. How successful are we in doing that?
In the passage in Luke, Jesus then adds, “but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is of no use either for the soil or for the manure pile. It is thrown away.” So if we are not having an influence in adding a beneficial flavour to the lives around us how can we expect to have a place in God’s kingdom and serve him there as the world as a whole at last learns righteousness, (see Isaiah 26 v.9)
How many are there today that Jesus would see as “salt”? In Luke 13 we saw the response when someone asked Jesus, “Lord, will those who are saved be few? [v.23] This question caused him to tell a parable about “the narrow door” and how vital it is to “strive to enter” through it. The Master bluntly says, “For many I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able.” He then adds many will “begin to stand outside and to knock on the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer them, ‘I do not know where you come from.” [v.25]
Jesus would be aware of the lesson of Noah in the ark, and how “the LORD shut him in” [Gen 7 v.16] Noah did not close the door! We can imagine the scene as the rain poured down and the floods grew – what would be the mood among the scoffers then!
His parable continues – those knocking at the door will say to him, “We ate and drank in your presence and you taught in our streets” [v.26] and some/many of later generations may well say, ‘we owned a Bible and read it sometimes’ But he will say, “I do not know where you come from” – he cannot see any “salt” in them!
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