XI: Jesus promises His kingdom to the repentant thief

Luke 23: 39 – 43

39 One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding* him and saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah?* Save yourself and us!’ 40But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.’ 42Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into* your kingdom.’ 43He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’

Some Background to the Scripture

The first criminal’s questioning of Jesus, ironically, is exactly who Jesus is and what he will do.

The second criminal proclaims Jesus’ innocence and knows that he can forgive him; Jesus welcomes him ‘today’ to Paradise – through Jesus comes salvation.

Jesus dies amongst the people for whom he cared – outcasts.

Reflection

ISIS are no friend to Muslims, by any stretch of the imagination, and so it’s really important that we never fall into the trap of thinking this is about Muslims against other people or anything like this.

This is about a very, very problematic group that is trying to set themselves up against the rest of the world, and to say that all Muslims are with them, nothing could be further from the truth.

[ Susan Carland, News.com.au 9 May 2016, accessed 10 May 2016 ]

Reflection Question

Who are the people today who are enslaved by the thoughts, words or actions of others.  Is there anyone whose life I limit because of my attitude towards them?

Prayer

Jesus, heal me of my limited sight; help me to welcome you in every person.

Response

Millions of people around the world live in harsh conditions and many struggle to earn enough to feed themselves and their families.  In places, education opportunities for their children do not exist because of the need for the children to find work to support their family.   Visit the Fair Trade and Ethica websites and consider supporting their work.

 

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