17MAR2019 | Jesus is Nobody's Fool | Second Sunday in Lent
IN THIS SECOND SUNDAY OF LENT, WE WILL ENCOUNTER VIA LUKE'S GOSPEL WHAT COULD, MOST ASSUREDLY, BE RECOGNIZED as a most misunderstood Jesus, a Jesus that, if we are not careful, is one we, too, could catastrophically misunderstand. One is challenged to find anywhere else in the gospels five verses that give us a full range of who Christ is, who the secular rulers are, and how these examples lay bare before us the challenges that lay before one who seeks to follow Christ faithfully.
Leading up to this passage, Jesus has been going about engaging in some truly remarkable and quite unbelievable teachings - in the first thirty verses of this chapter, Jesus:
Makes clear that following Christ is about leading a life that turns in a different direction to follow Him faithfully and fully (1-5);
Challenges his listeners to have faith but also face reality (6-9);
Gives the leaders of the faithful a more clear example of what sabbath-keeping is all about instead of being an excuse to ignore the needs of others (10-17);
Exhorts his followers to not underestimate how much power even a little, seemingly insignificant amount of faith is truly transformative (18-21);
Reminds them to guard against being too cocky with respect to their own salvation as well as to not be surprised at who really is faithful and who has had a false sense of assurance (22-30).
Whew! Given all that, one can justifiably understand some of the religious folk being fearful of Christ's life when they bring him the message that Herod wants him killed. Jesus, of course, does not respond with fear, but instead, through his example, gives his followers examples that are as essential today as when first spoken. To wit, Jesus shows the faithful that we are to be people who:
Have a faith that facilitates focus;
Have a faith that brings to us the bigger picture; and,
Have a faith that demands patience.