We’re at Luke 17. Jesus is headed for Jerusalem toward the end of His life and ministry. It has 3 parts. The first is entitled Sin, Faith and Duty in verses 1 thru 10. The first 2 verses once again warn against #2, sin and #3, judgment. But, as Jesus nearly always does, He takes those 2 matters straight to the issue of the need for #6, repentance. How many times does He have to say it, before we’ll believe Him and do it? Where one sins against us, and that person repents of it, we are given further #9, New Life instruction to extend forgiveness to that person… even up to 7 times in 1 day! With that, in verses 5+6, the disciples realize they’ll need greater #7, faith, if they’re ever going to obey that. Imagine someone wronging you 7 times in the very same day! And, each time they apologize. It would be no easy thing to readily forgive all 7 times. Further New Life instruction is given where such a thing is just one part of all our duties as a disciple of Christ, in the course of the living of our lives out in humble service unto Him and others.
We then have a unique account of Jesus healing 10 lepers. By means of this miracle, we are again shown the divine supernatural power of the Savior, and of His commendation of one of the 10, for having placed their faith, hope and trust in Him. All this in verses 11 thru 19, and the point being that we should all do the same. #7, Believe upon the Lord, Jesus Christ! Closing with verses 20 thru 37, we read of Jesus explaining to a Pharisee that #10, the Kingdom comes to reside within an individual person by means of #8, the New Birth. He alludes to #5, the Gospel, and His death in verse 25, and closes verses 26 thru 37 entirely on a note of #3, certain and severe judgment. So, in chapter 17, we find 8 of The 10 Essential Elements of The Real New Testament Message.
Luke 18 has 6 parts. The first is the Parable of the Persistent Widow, verses 1 thru 8. I love this! It is incredible #9, New Life instruction about prayer, and the necessity for prayer in #7, faith! We are to ‘always pray and not give up’. How? By being persistent in prayer, ‘bugging‘ God about matters. He will put us off, but not for long. He always answers just in time. His time! But, it’s for us, His own… not for every and anyone. Become one of His! Then pray unto Him. With verses 9 thru 14, Jesus tells how! Becoming one of God’s own requires acknowledgment of being a #2, sinner and deeply humbling oneself in #6, repentance. Such a person will be justified, or declared #1, righteous by God, and be given God’s righteousness as his very own! Jesus is just about to explain the all-important basis upon which God will do all this for a truly repentant sinner. It’s what will make Him to be #4, the Savior. But, right now, be as that tax collector, and not as the Pharisee! Be justified or you will be judged. It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell