Date: August 21, 2022

Bible Text: Deuteronomy 5:1-22, Luke 13:10-17 |

Christians have a complicated relationship with the Old Testament commandments and laws. Some of that is explicit in the Apostle Paul's writings as he struggled to find the right balance for himself and for the church. Some of it came from later theologians who either denigrated the Law as useless or harmful, or embraced the Law, often selectively, to use as a spiritual billy club against particular sins or particular people. As we see in this week's lesson from Luke, it isn't a new problem, as even in Jesus' own day it was an uneasy relationship. Jesus, being the Word of God, knew just how the Law was to be understood and used to bring about God's righteousness and justice. Let's see if we can follow him there.


Notes from the Preacher

Several insights about the scene in Luke 13 and about related passages elsewhere in Luke came to me by way of the Jewish Annotated New Testament, Second Edition (NRSV), from Oxford University Press [Oxford, New York, etc., © 2011, 2017], which is an excellent resource for Christians who want to understand the Jewish context of the New Testament, and for Jews who want to understand what Christians are going on about.

Here are a couple links about the first edition:

And one about the second edition from the publisher:


I'd like to give credit for the ideas I expressed after the reading from Deuteronomy about how the Commandments were intended to shape the lives of an enslaved people into lives of a free, fair, stable, and loving community, but unfortunately I don't know where that came from. It is perhaps an amalgamation from seminary classes, various lectures, commentaries, my own intuition, and the leading of the Holy Spirit. It just came to my brain as such. It is not my intention to take credit for anyone else's work here.

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