Woe Is A Warning

A reading for Tuesday, October 21, 2014: Luke 10:1-16.

Another image of the church... my favorite image of the church. The sending of the seventy out in pairs to every town and place where Jesus intends to go. Stay with those that receive you, giving you hospitality, and in return heal the sick that are there and declare peace! Take nothing with you but depend on others to feed you, staying in one place. The lesson ends with a "woe" warning...

If others do not receive you then woe to them. It would be better that they had been the city of Sodom (destroyed by fire) than the town that rejected you. The last four verses are a list of "woe" warnings to the ancient cities that we recognize from the travels of Jesus. These verses are always shocking to us. Is this Jesus? Judgment and warning does not seem to be what we think of in our Lord.

What if this is not a harsh word from Jesus condemning these cities at all, but instead a warning out of love. If we fail to offer hospitality to God and God's people, we do so at our own peril. If we reject God and the peace and healing that comes from God's people, then the whole city suffers because God is not as present there. Would that not be condemning ourselves, and Jesus simply offers the truth in such a "woe" warning.

We have a tendency to blame the messenger for the message even today but consider this... How much better would our nation, our city, our neighborhood and even our own home and family be with more peace and more healing from Almighty God through those that are sent in Jesus' name?


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