Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Day 91: Insiders and Fruit bearers

Deuteronomy 23, 24, 25 and Luke 6:27-49

These passages deal who defining insiders and outsiders in the community of Israel. Insiders are those allowed to participate fully in the life of Israel and outsiders are kept out, even to the 10th generation. Luke gives us a glimpse of what “insiders” look like in Jesus’ kingdom. They are those who show love even to those that oppress them.

Deuteronomy 23:

This chapter describes who is inside the community by making sure everyone knows who is outside. Too often we still feel the need to be defined by what we are NOT. This chapter lists punishments to the outsider. If you are not an Israelite, then your kids up to 10 generations won’t be allowed to participate in the faith. Unless of course you are an Edomite or Egyptian, and those will only be excluded until the third generation.
The author continues to outline rules for keeping things “just so” in the community of faith, including the military camps, temple rites, banking practices, and even eating grapes from a neighbor’s field.

Deuteronomy 24:

This chapter contains some divorce decrees that prohibit the remarriage of a couple after they have been divorced and married other people and find themselves divorced and/or widowed. This, as odd as it sounds, is to protect the women. If they did remarry a previous spouse it would cause her second marriage to be seen as harlotry or wife swapping, both of which were looked down upon.
This chapter also offers rules that keep people focused on the concerns for humane treatment of others. It is sad that today, many of us could still use these rules to remind us to look past ourselves and how to care for others.

Deuteronomy 25

This chapter gives regulations for the settling of disputes. Some of these are different such a physical assault and money loaning to household issues.

Luke 6:27-49

This section of Luke introduces us to the Golden Rule. The entire section talks about loving all, even your enemies. Here lending is given a different context then in Deuteronomy. Here you are to lend, period. It doesn’t matter if you think they can pay you back, you are called to help others. Offer to help others, even when they are down on you.
Then we are given the statement on being hypocritical. Take the log out of your own eye, before you try to correct someone else. Too often we put ourselves as moral authorities over others. Jesus here says, deal with your own mess first! Because you can’t bear good fruit if you are a bad tree!
Fruit bearing is an important thing in Luke. You will know who a person is by what comes from them. In the words of Maya Angelou “When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.”

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