On the Way to THE CRUX: Reflections on Jesus’ Journey to the Cross
Week Three: Contentment and Vigilance
While Jesus was talking with the Pharisees and teachers of the law (Week Two), thousands of people gathered around him and his disciples (Luke 12:1). Jesus turned to them and began preaching a series of sermons on contentment and vigilance in light of the coming end time catastrophe. He warned them against sinfulness that can easily spread and influence the whole community just like how the yeast spread through a whole lump of dough. His purpose is to shield his disciples and the whole community from the heresy of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law.
First in the series is his sermon on contentment (12:1-34). When one is content with what he has in life, he is free from fear and fully dependent on God (1b-12, 32). Contentment may also men free from anxiety (13-31). Worrying is useless! It cannot add a single hour to a man’s span of life. Instead of being anxious, one should look at the Father’s generosity. He knows and more than willing to provide everything one needs. Worrying can take man’s attention away from God, His Kingdom and righteousness. Instead of laying up treasures on earth, one should invest in heavenly treasures “which do not grow old…and where no thief approaches and no moth destroys,” by giving to the needy. By doing so, one is setting his heart on heavenly wealth (32-34).
Then Jesus proceeded to the second part of the series which is about vigilance in light of the coming end time catastrophe (12:35-13:9). He talked about stewardship as a sign of being vigilant and watchfulness (35-50). Good stewardship is maintaining “civility and moderation” (Gundry) while waiting for the second coming of Jesus. He gave the disciples a hint as to the tension that will happen between his disciples and those who will oppose their devotion to Christ (vv. 49-53).
He went on to expose the poor discernment of the people: they know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky but failed to discern and acknowledge him.
Finally, they should make every effort to settle with God and repent of their sins. Not being boastful, judging other people as more sinful than they are. They were given another chance to make it up with God, if not they will surely be punished (54-13:9).
Jesus delivered these sermons as he and his disciples pressed on Jerusalem. He was aware of what is going to happen once they finally entered it. He was feeling the pressure and tension. He knew he had to prepare his disciples and offer one last chance for the crowd to acknowledge him and repent of their sins.
God did not promise us exemption from problems, affliction and trials. It is imperative that we go through these things here on earth as followers of Christ.
Questions for reflection:
Which of these areas you feel you need extra help from God, in order to increase your contentment in life?
- Freedom from fear and anxiety
- Generosity (giving to the needy)
- Dependence on God
Pray earnestly, so the Holy Spirit will teach you ways on how to overcome it.
Are there areas in your life that you need to surrender to God while there is still chance?
Ask the Holy Spirit to break your pride and selfishness, so you may be able to surrender everything to God while His forbearance is still available.
Gundry, Robert H. A Survey of the New Testament. Manila, Philippines: OMF Literature, Inc., 2002
Bible Gateway. www.biblegateway.com