Tag Archives: Luke

The Less Is Not The Least

…and he noticed a poor widow putting in two small coins. Luke 21:2

Luke paints a picture of less.

Poor. Widow. Two. Small. Coins.

If that is not a case of lack of something, I don’t know what it is.

Poor is having not much. It is a state of need of enough or of more. Pockets are full of air. Bank account can’t be counted.

Widow is having no company. No hands to hold but yours. No walks with somebody. No dinner with somebody. Sleeping all alone in a cold night.

Two small coins sound like not much in her purse. Even if these metals clash, no sound will be heard from a good distance. If you drop them in a collection box, even the dropper’s ear might miss the fall.

Yet this less is not the least, for Jesus notices it.

How many times you retreated in giving because you have less? How many times you were prevented from helping because you have not much?

Does this sound familiar, “If only I have more money, more time, more resources, more skills then I can give.” Luke’s painting tells us this is a myth.

Even in times of lack, you can give back. For even in times of less, you can bless. Even in times of not much, you can do much. Even if you feel you’re small, you can give your all.

For Jesus, for Luke, for the widow and for you… the less is not the least.

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Greatest

An argument arose among the disciples about which of them was the greatest. Luke 9:46

Nothing has changed, right?

We still want to be the greatest…the best…the wisest. We still argue.

Have you watch the US GOP Presidential debates? Politicians raising up their seats. Putting down others’ accomplishments. Pointing to their laurels and thumbing down opponents’ honors.

Don’t go too far. Look at the 2016 Philippine would-be presidents. They serve in the same government yet they belittle whatever gains the other candidates have achieved. No one takes the back seat. Nobody has a better platform, than me.

Let’s go nearer. Look at your Facebook newsfeed. One friend or maybe you are better than other friend. The other friend comment back and says he/she is greater than that one friend. “Mababaw ka dahil AlDub fan ka, malalim ako dahil napanood ko ang Heneral Luna”. So, when does watching a movie make you a better person? “Malungkot ang mundo mo dahil ayaw mo sa AlDub.” Happiness is to each his own, di ba?

Well, it’s in our nature to want to be great, to be better than somebody else. Everybody has this thirst to be the best and to be the wisest. Even the nearest persons who walked with Jesus, who ate with him and who talked to Jesus face to face had the same fervor. This hasn’t changed and is happening around us – we are the greater church, we are the better congregation, we are the holier community. And just like us, they argued about this.

The same book provides the key to be great – be the servant (For the one who is least among all of you is the one who is greatest. Luke 9:48). You don’t have to push the person beside you to the lower level when you climb the higher step. Compliment rather than compete. Work together rather than being at war against each other. Understand before being understood. Focus on the strengths of each other and improve on each others’ weaknesses. Lift up, not tear down.

Nothing has changed. If you want change, may be you may want to start with yourself. Be the least. Be the servant.

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Focus

Soon afterward he journeyed to a city called Nain, and his disciples and a large crowd accompanied him. As he drew near to the gate of the city, a man who had died was being carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow. A large crowd from the city was with her. Luke 7:11-12

The camera was on him — Jesus.

Then, it was on her — the widow, whose only son is dead.

Both angles of the camera has multitudes.

Jesus was with his disciples and a large crowd was following him. The widow as well was with a large crowd from the city.

Both were traveling with large crowds. Yet, the camera zooms on our two protagonists. Thanks to Director Luke.

Luke makes you realize that Jesus should be zoomed out in your life. Your eyes and hearts should be focus on him. There maybe a large pile of life you may have. You have family to love and care for. You have chains of relationships. You have concerns in the office. You have service in the church. The large crowd is part of your life and the crowd only accompanies him. Jesus should take the center stage.

You focus on Jesus.

Luke also makes you realize how God’s eyes are on you as you travel in this life’s journey. You may be with a funeral of death or a parade of life, God’s cameras are zoomed into you. No matter how thick is the population he has created, his eyes rolls and looks for you. His heart goes after you especially in your lowest of lowest. When death comes to take life. When healing is postponed. When employment is not offered. When family is not one. He walks towards you. He walks to meet you, in your hurt, in your loneliness. His pupils have your face.

Jesus is focus on you.

Originally posted in September 17, 2011.

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Greatness

Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”  Luke 1:38

Greatness does not view consequences – Doug Collins.

Greatness when you don’t view consequences is like saying yes to God’s plan. Even when you are not told what your nod entails.

Mary – she said yes to carry God’s Son in her womb for nine months and be his mother as long as he is here on earth. She was not oriented on the where she would deliver him– manger. She is not informed as early as possible that her son would die a tragic death– on the cross. She had to linger on day and night where her son would be as Jesus hopped from one town to another to preach and reach the broken. She had to wonder if he has taken his lunch or what food he had for dinner. And yet, she said yes and did not view consequences.

Joseph – he said yes to the angel’s instructions from his dream to take care of God’s Son and his mother. He may have wanted the best delivery room for his wife and first born but he had to settle to be with animals and for a while, exchange his carpentry to nursery. He didn’t anticipate that his business would change address from time to time to fulfill what was written long before. His work is to be belittled as Jesus was judged, “He is the son of a carpenter.” And yet, he said yes and did not view consequences.

You can take this first step to greatness.

Say yes to God’s plan.  And don’t view the consequences.

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Economics of Zacchaeus

But Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Behold, half of my possessions, Lord, I shall give to the poor, and if I have extorted anything from anyone I shall repay it four times over.”  Luke 19:8

Economics is about incentives.

Companies or persons hand their resources if in return they get incentives or benefits above what they gave.

Knowing that this guy Zacchaeus is the chief tax collector, accounting or economics are his daily life. He looks for financial benefits in every transaction. His eyes scans the numbers and says if it’s a deal or not.

Not today.

Look at his economics.

Before meeting Jesus:

Net Worth = Z (this is his total worth, assets minus liabilities)

Moments after meeting Jesus:

Net Worth = Z – 0.5*Z = 0.5Z (this is his total worth after giving half to the poor)

Further moments after meeting Jesus:

Net Worth = 0.5Z – image002 (this is his total worth after giving back 4 times to what he extorted per person, E, from the number of people he extorted, n)

Zacchaeus threw what he learned all his life about economic benefits out of his window. His financial worth decreased moment after moment after meeting the Christ. Jesus said, “Today salvation has come to this house…” (Luke 19:9) and Zacchaeus, by his economics, replied, “It’s a deal!”.

We don’t know if he came back to his job as the chief tax collector, I bet he resigned! We don’t know if he became a full time follower of Jesus, just like the Twelve, I bet he did in his own small ways! This is what we surely know – his life turned around and he realized it’s not about the money. That life is not about these financial benefits thus he was willing to give almost all he got.

Jesus saved him. And that is an enough incentive.

 

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Thank You, Ninety-Nine!

What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? Luke 15:4

You were in the desert. And you stayed, not strayed.

For me to be found, the shepherd leaves you in that barren place. No fences but you remained firm. No boundaries but you kept your feet from wandering. The shepherd found me as I’m lost, and he found me because you were steadfast. You held your ground even in the desert.

I left because of that desert — a place where I don’t want to be.

  • A desert of unemployment.
  • A dry land of an exhausting disease.
  • A barren married and family life.
  • An unfruitful church or community.
  • A dead end friendship or relationship.
  • A financial struggle which gave me dryness.
  • A career without a direction.

But here you are, still in the desert, when we came back. Still in the desert but you’re still faithful. Still in the desert and you’re still constant. Still in the desert but you’re still loyal. Though it seems he left you in that desert, you still hindered his voice. You still followed his words. You lived as if he is leading you.

As I come back to the flock, I know I can make it through the desert for the shepherd is with me and you are with me. His grace and your shining example will light my path. Side by side, I will walk with your inspiration. I will follow your footsteps and I will mirror your faithfulness. I will step in your shoes and I will run the race with your consistency.

I know I have to thank the shepherd mainly for finding me. I also know I have to thank you for him to find me.

Thank you, Ninety-Nine!

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Receivers

“Then you will say, ‘We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.’ “But he will reply, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ Luke 13:26-27

They ate with the Provider of all things and they were filled. Yet, they did not feed the poor and needy.

They drank with him and their thirst was quenched. Yet, they did not share the fountain of life to the people who were looking for the water of life.

They listened to his messages, they heard his preaching. Yet, they did not pass down what they learn. They did not talk about it to their family and friends.

Whatever they receive they did not give. Whatever they had, they kept it to themselves. Everything stopped with them.

I’m guessing one reason for this — they focused mainly on what they received and not on the one who gave what they received. It filled their stomachs but not their hearts. It quenched their physicality but not their spirituality. It passed through their ears but it was not planted into their hearts. They longed for the gift and not the Giver. Only the Giver satisfies, not the gift.

Jesus is the only way through the door of heavenly gates. And when the time comes, may he not give you the same response, ‘I don’t know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!’ Luke 13:27

Make sure your answer is not similar with these comfortable receivers.

Build your relationship with the Giver, Jesus. Love him who feeds you. Live for him who gives his cup to you. Follow him who reveals his Word to you daily.

And may all these allow you to be a giver of whatever he gives you, to know him more, to love him more and thus you may make him known more and make him be loved more.

Always remember this — Jesus knows not mere receivers but receivers who become givers.

 

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