Have no fear

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search= Luke 12:32-40&version=NIV

Three questions

What is your greatest fear?

How does this prevent you from seeing the kingdom God is so eagerly wanting to give you?

How does this free you up to give alms to the poor? (Bonus point) what does Jesus mean by alms?

Feel free to comment on the master turning the tables on the servants.
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Comments

  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    'Do not fear' is one of the key messages of the Bible because fear is spiritual poison.

    Generous giving is a major theme of Luke in his gospel and in Acts. It is portrayed as being a sign of spiritual maturity (Barnabas) and a sign of redemption (Zaccheus).

    Jesus often gives unexpected images of God in His parables to show that God is not what we think He is. Instead of emphasising the power and might of God, He shows us the surprising vulnerability and humility of God. Jesus does the same thing at the Last Supper.
  • BroJamesBroJames Purgatory Host
    In order to understand what this passage is saying, it is important to look at the wider context. Luke is clear about Jesus setting his face for Jerusalem, and IMO makes it clear he is expecting to go to his death.

    In chapter 11 the hostility between him and the Pharisees and teachers of the Law becomes open and explicit. This is the context for the repeated encouragement in chapter 12 to ‘have no fear’.

    The primary fears addressed in chapter 12 are of persecution. arrest, trial, imprisonment and death - with other lesser consequences flowing from persecution. IMO the overall thrust of chapter 12 is about not living a life warped by the fears of persecution: clinging to material security, afraid to admit to being a follower of Jesus, struggling to trust in God’s promises and to live accordingly. Instead his followers are to be watchful, faithful and hopeful.

    Jesus assures his followers that the Father is pleased to have given (not ‘is eagerly wanting to give’) them the kingdom. The assurance is important because, he warns them, it may seem very contrary to appearances.

    The whole is set against a backdrop of expected real persecution.
  • According to this page the root meaning of the word translated "alms" (ἐλεημοσύνην) is to show compassion.

    While this often translates into the giving of a material thing, that giving is supposed to be born of compassion. If giving becomes separated from compassion, it's become a dead work in my view (one of the things I dislike about modern giving is the way it's often depersonalised: we use money to outsource the giving of our compassion).

    'Alms' gave the word 'almoner' and in French, the word aumônier meaning chaplain. As a prison chaplain I am called to show compassion, but definitely not to giving out anything material. By law I am supposed to give "moral and spiritual support" to inmates.
  • Martin54Martin54 Shipmate
    What is this kingdom God is eagerly wanting to give me? How do my fears stop Him? How do they stop me giving alms? Is the kingdom all about almsgiving no matter how unhelpable people are and how helpless the church is?
  • When we say 'Thy Kingdom Come' it is that Kingdom we are looking to see on earth as it is in heaven, where everyone knows that they are loved and valuable, where there are no more tears, where goodness prevails. Our fears can prevent us from giving our all in service to God, reaching out in love and standing firm against all that's evil.
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Raptor Eye wrote: »
    When we say 'Thy Kingdom Come' it is that Kingdom we are looking to see on earth as it is in heaven, where everyone knows that they are loved and valuable, where there are no more tears, where goodness prevails. Our fears can prevent us from giving our all in service to God, reaching out in love and standing firm against all that's evil.

    If you read through the NT it says that ultimately the kingdom of God will be restored on earth. This is particularly affirmed in the Revelation (Apocolypse) of John.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    edited October 9
    Revelation tells us that there will be 'a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away' (Rev 21: 1). And we will have new resurrection bodies like the Risen Christ (1 Cor 15: 35-58). The kingdom of God is life in God's presence. And the Lord's Prayer asks that it may be fully manifested among us.
  • I think that can also be understood as "renewed": see the discussion here.
  • RublevRublev Shipmate
    An eternal Sabbath, so to speak. Which makes the intention of the Sabbath a foretaste of life in the kingdom.
  • It's an eternal Eighth Day; the day of resurrection, of new beginnings. Or so Michael Wilcock tells us in his commentary on Revelation, I saw heaven opened.
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