Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Gospel passage from Luke 11:1-13 points to the overwhelming good gifts God gives to His people. The illustration that Jesus makes in verses 11-12 is rooted in a very simple idea. Every normal, healthy, well-adjusted adult wishes his or her children to have good things. We don’t give our children serpents to eat. Those, under the Jewish law, were unclean. We don’t give our kids things that pollute them. We give them what is good. A fish, not a snake. An egg, not a scorpion. Good food, not bad.
This is because we are good, right? In verse 13, Jesus says it is not. We are not good by nature, but evil by nature. Yes, this is Jesus calling you and me evil. Even evil people give good things to their children. We try to protect and nurture, not harm our children.
What’s the punch line? Here Jesus says something surprising. We would expect him to say the Father gives good food to His people. But instead, he says the Father gives the Holy Spirit. The Spirit of God, who directs us to Jesus, is truly the best gift we can receive. He delivers forgiveness and life as we receive God’s Spirit-inspired Word with the faith the Lord gives us, rooted in Jesus’ work on our behalf. God gives us a gift which will not pass away. We who are evil give good gifts that expire. God who is good gives permanent gifts. This is truly our great hope.
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