Profiling – now there’s a word we hear on a regular basis in our culture. Our media in America seems to believe profiling is a rather new idea but our reading today shows us that the disciples were involved in religious profiling. We look at the time when Jesus and the disciples were traveling from Jericho to Jerusalem. We all know what happens when He gets to Jerusalem, so that makes this trip special. Jesus knew it was a trip that would end in His crucifixion. So, knowing these were His final days and weeks, what does Jesus do?
Let’s look at a series of events recorded in Luke during this time.
- Jesus tells the Parable of the Persistent Widow, who cried out for justice until she received it. (Luke 18:1-8)
- Jesus tells the Parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, in which the Tax Collector is described as justified before God. (Luke 18:9-14)
- People bring children to Jesus and the disciples rebuke and try to stop them. (Luke 18:15-17)
- A rich ruler asks Jesus how to inherit eternal life and the disciples do not interfere. (Luke 18:18-30)
- Jesus once again predicts his death. (Luke 18:31-34)
- A blind beggar cries out for Jesus to help him and the disciples rebuke him, telling him to be quiet. (Luke 18:35-43)
- A tax collector climbs a tree to see Jesus and the disciples are silent (Luke 19:1-9)
Jesus taught on the power of persistent supplication and then Luke provided 4 pop quizzes. How did the disciples do? Let’s see, they rebuked the children, allowed the rich ruler to question Jesus, rebuked the blind beggar and allowed the tax collector to call out to Jesus while remaining silent. They profiled. They were wanting Jesus to be surrounded with the rich and powerful. Maybe they were doing it because they thought that was the best way to draw more people to Jesus. Maybe they had forgotten their roots. They were a part of Jesus’ inner circle now, not the fishermen and laborers he recruited just years before.
Are we more like Jesus or more like the disciples? Who do we spiritually underestimate? Have you forgotten your beginnings before Christ? Do you value the input of young and old alike? Do you believe the individual who’s just scraping by in this world and the wildly successful can be on the same spiritual level? Do you wish to hand pick those who serve with you instead of allowing Christ to move in their lives and bring them along side you? Today we are to fast from religious profiling. I thought that was all I had until I went to Biblegateway.com to copy today’s reading. Instead God had this nugget of wisdom sitting there for me:
God wasn’t attracted to you and didn’t choose you because you were big and important—the fact is, there was almost nothing to you. He did it out of sheer love, keeping the promise he made to your ancestors. God stepped in and mightily bought you back out of that world of slavery, freed you from the iron grip of Pharaoh king of Egypt. Know this: God, your God, is God indeed, a God you can depend upon. He keeps his covenant of loyal love with those who love him and observe his commandments for a thousand generations. But he also pays back those who hate him, pays them the wages of death; he isn’t slow to pay them off—those who hate him, he pays right on time.
Today’s reading is John 14:1-14
14 1-4 “Don’t let this throw you. You trust God, don’t you? Trust me. There is plenty of room for you in my Father’s home. If that weren’t so, would I have told you that I’m on my way to get a room ready for you? And if I’m on my way to get your room ready, I’ll come back and get you so you can live where I live. And you already know the road I’m taking.”
5 Thomas said, “Master, we have no idea where you’re going. How do you expect us to know the road?”
6-7 Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me. If you really knew me, you would know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him. You’ve even seen him!”
8 Philip said, “Master, show us the Father; then we’ll be content.”
9-10 “You’ve been with me all this time, Philip, and you still don’t understand? To see me is to see the Father. So how can you ask, ‘Where is the Father?’ Don’t you believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I speak to you aren’t mere words. I don’t just make them up on my own. The Father who resides in me crafts each word into a divine act.
11-14 “Believe me: I am in my Father and my Father is in me. If you can’t believe that, believe what you see—these works. The person who trusts me will not only do what I’m doing but even greater things, because I, on my way to the Father, am giving you the same work to do that I’ve been doing. You can count on it. From now on, whatever you request along the lines of who I am and what I am doing, I’ll do it. That’s how the Father will be seen for who he is in the Son. I mean it. Whatever you request in this way, I’ll do.