Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Sep 05, 2013 | Comments (0)

Seventeenth Sunday After Pentecost

Bottom Line Spirituality: Worldly and Godly Thinking

Click here to go to the Bottom Line Meditations for Seventeenth Sunday after Pentecost

Godly Abiding Spiritually in Jesus Changes the Meaning of What we See Worldly When Not Abiding in Jesus.

Spirituality is our innate ability to feel the difference worldly or godly thinking makes to the way scripture translates to our daily life and relationships.



(see Pentecost Sunday Meditation by Clicking Here)

The Virtual Small Group

Members share once a week with their group through the internet when a shift from being out to being in the Presence made a difference.

All Scripture is a testimony to Jesus Christ, who is the Word of God. He is the complete revelation of God’s will of grace for salvation. Grace is the only unfailing rule of faith and practice for the Christian life.

The Gospel of grace is: rather than doing it right to become right with God, to be right with God to do what is right.

The War on Legalism

God declared War on Legalism when He sent His Word into the World. The Word became flesh and dwelt among us … full of grace and truth. John 1:14 Legalism fought back against grace believing the Bible, not Jesus, is the word of God. Grace is based on the Two Great Love Commandments. All the Law and the Prophets have now been changed into “do the loving thing.” Matthew 22:37-40 The New Command is to be in His Presence in order to Love one another. John 13:34 “Apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15:5

The Gospel of grace is rather than being joyful to be in God’s Presence, to become loving by feeling how much Joy God has for us being in Him.

Galatians 5:14 The entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”

If it's true that Grace is here to help others, then what exactly is legalism here for?

Luke 15:1-10 “Why do you welcome and eat with sinners?” It’s My Party!

Jesus was sharing with the sinners and tax collectors. They all drew near to hear Him. The Pharisees were off in a distance grumbling about Him. 

Jesus tells the three parables. Literal thinking sees the point of the parables is show the Love Jesus has for sinners. What was the real meaning of His parables? You have a lost sheep and the shepherd leaves the righteous ninety and nine to search other for the lost sheep. A woman loses her dowry. She may not be able to be married if she does not find the coin. She finds the lost coin and rejoices. Literally, we would think this was about the joy of having sinners repent. Wasn’t that what Jesus was supposed to be working with?  

Why were they being ostracized and called sinners? Sinners were mostly those who did not follow the law literally. It was because they were poor and hard working and could not dot every i. The Pharisees considered the tax collectors as the vilest of all Jews. Jesus encouraged them to be honest. Otherwise, they were just doing a job. The Pharisees lumped them all into the worst of all kinds of sinners.

Grace thinking raises the question, “Who did Jesus tell the parable to?” Was it to the sinners? Apparently not. It was to the Pharisees. He heard them loudly grumbling among each other. He walked over to them. “What are you grumbling about?”  “We are grumbling about you. Why do you welcome and eat with sinners?”

They forget He is not telling His parable to the sinners but to the Pharisees. He is answering their question, “Why are you doing this?”

The point of the parables is that the party was for the shepherd and the woman not for the lamb or for the coin.  The third parable was the prodigal son. Who was the feast for? Not the elder son, nor even for the younger son. It was for the Father. The party is for God the Father. The reason Jesus was doing what He was doing was because He loved doing it. It was not for any reward. It was just for His fun of it. 

Jesus loved being human. We may not understand that but it is all over the pages spiritually if we look for it. Here He is after the resurrection. He appears in Luke with the Apostles. He asks for something to eat. They give Him some fish. Why did He ask for food? He had already shown them the signs. They knew it was Him. He ate the food because He wanted to hang out with them a little longer before He ascended. Why did it take Him forty days before His ascension? He loved being with them a little longer. He is telling the Pharisees He loves being human.

Literally, we might be shocked at thinking Jesus enjoyed being human. One would think He could hardly wait to get out. He would be anxious to get home to His Father’s house. He had the cross to face. Where is the Joy? St Paul understood it when he wrote, “For the joy set before Him He endured the cross.” Hebrews 12:2

Jesus then goes back to party with His friends, leaving the grumbling Pharisees outside with the older brother and other sinners. Spiritually, we can understand a person who lives in the Peace, Love, Joy and Wisdom of God would love to be wherever He was. Jesus loves abiding with us. That is why there is so much Joy in our heart when we shift to abide in His Presence. His Joy brings our joy. How is your Joy level today?

THE DISCIPLE-SHIFT: The Virtual Small Group:  Members share once a week with their group through the internet when a shift from being out to being in the Presence made a difference.

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