Luke 14 and 15 teachings of Jesus

Do the teachings of Jesus really mean anything?

In May 2013 I will be in a musical production of The Prodigal Son (1400 West 700 South, SLC, UT - 10th and 11th 7PM both nights and 3PM on the 11th there is no charge for admission) and I received a blessing from Andres Paredes (From Peru) and in that blessing where he laid his hands on my head he told me to prepare to share my talents first by studying the words of Jesus.

So I went to the Bible and rather than just read about the story of the Prodigal son I read before hand and looked at who Jesus Christ was talking to. I don't pretend to be an expert in the Bible although I constantly find new insights the more I read. I have read Luke 14 and 15 many times but this time specific things jumped out at me.

Andres Paredes writes music for the most part and he also writes the lyrics although sometimes he asks for help with the words. For the songs he used ideas and words out of the Bible as he should have. It seems it is hard to get people interested in ancient teachings especially my teenagers. Many of the teachings match with teachings from other Prophets or teachers although the claim that Jesus was the Son of God is really the main point and that he suffered for the sins of the word and resurrected so all mankind could have the gifts of forgiveness and resurrection.

What Jesus taught in the Prodigal son is well known, he taught that we should forgive others. The short story is as follows: A Man has two sons, he gives his inheritance to them and one son stays with the man to help take care of the duties of the home and the other son takes his money and goes and wastes it ending up with nothing and coming home eventually humbled and willing to just be a servant if need be but the father welcomes him and has a party. The son that stayed with his father is upset that the father would welcome the son by killing a calf for a dinner when the father has never done that for him before.

Christ was talking to Jews who actually had the attitude that they were better than others who were not living the law as they were living it.

Christ did teach of the woman who dropped a silver coin and obviously spent time searching for the coin because of it's value. Then he spoke of how a Sheppard if he has 100 sheep and loses one, will leave the 99 in order to find one lost one. This all compares to how valuable even one sinner is to God who loves all men. The Prodigal son obviously was a sinner and he humbled himself and came back to the fold. The beautiful tale of how the father forgave him and welcomed him back indicates that God will do the same for all of us. People within churches often forget that we are all sinners.

We can also learn that people in a Church atmosphere should not get attitudes of feeling that they are better than anyone else and that we should care about those that have lost their way and be forgiving when they decide to come back. Just because I go to Church does not make me any better than someone who does not go to a church. Just because I live the commandments or look like I am living the commandments does not make me better than anyone else. All of us are sinners it is just that many times you see the sins of others easier.

So back to Luke 14 and 15. Most people are familiar with most of the stories in the Bible and in these chapters we learn of Christs teachings to the Jewish leaders, people, sinners and the publicans (free lance tax collectors, not overly liked by the people so they were lumped into the group of sinners that Christ was looked down upon for hanging out with)

Christ was eating at the home of one of the top Pharisees who were one of the two main groups of Jewish leaders (Note: The Pharisees believed in angels and the resurrection of the dead whereas the Sadducees one of the other main groups of Jewish leaders did not believe in angels nor resurrection) So Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath (Saturday the Jewish day of rest) and Jesus poses several questions to those around him directing his comments to the lawyers and pharisees. He asks if it is ok to heal someone on the Sabbath. First you need to know that the law of Moses got really detailed with many many things you could and mostly could not do and the people became obsessed with the law rather than with the true meaning of why they had rules and laws.

Christ then gives them a story or just a simple example and asks if your animal like an ox falls into a pit on the Sabbath can you get the animal out? Nobody answered him on either question.

Then in Luke chapter 14 verse 7 Jesus begins to teach them about humility and of it's importance. He tells them that when you go to a party you should not take the place of honor but take a lesser position until you are invited to a place of honor. Then he gives some additional counsel that when you make a dinner that rather than inviting family, friends or rich neighbors you should invite the poor and those that have no way to pay you back because if you invite a rich person then they will seem obligated to repay the favor and that is not what it is all about. I know you can find additional meaning in these verses and many people talk of double and triple meanings along with hidden things and that is all well and good. For now we will deal with what I feel is obvious.

So we have this lesson of humility ( Being teachable and not high and mighty) the great lesson of us learning to be like God (The Father in the story) who is forgiving and merciful to all that come to him with a repentant heart. There are still consequences to our actions although as we learn to humble and loving as God is we can better our lives and the lives of our Children. These core teachings should never be ignored in our families. We spend far to much time finding fault with others rather than practicing our own doctrine of love and forgiveness. The same as a Church is for the sinners not the perfect people