Traveling Thru Here

October 2, 2010

Lest he drag you to the judge

Filed under: Uncategorized — j.hansen @ 3:44 PM

Luke 15:58-59:

As you go with your accuser before the magistrate, make an effort to settle with him on the way, lest he drag you to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the officer, and the officer put you in prison. I tell you, you will never get out until you have paid the very last penny.

I thought this was good advice about how to avoid incurring expensive court judgments. From the context, you will see that it’s not about that at all. Rather Christ is telling the people: “The time for repentance is now, not later. Repent and turn from your sin before it’s too late because once the time has passed, you’ll be thrown into hell. And you’ll never escape from there.”

For a long time I didn’t know what Christ was saying in this verse because I had zoomed in on the verse with a microscope. I was analyzing it atomistically. That is, I failed to see it in context. I was focused on the trees and could not see the forest. Looking at the few verses preceding these two verses changes everything. Here they are, verses 54-56:

He also said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west, you say at once, ‘A shower is coming.’ And so it happens. And when you see the south wind blowing, you say, ‘There will be scorching heat,’ and it happens. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of earth and sky, but why do you not know how to interpret the present time?

1 Comment »

  1. Could it have both eschatological as well as temporal application?

    Cf. 1 Cor. 6 for a more didactic passage:

    1 Dare any of you, having a matter against another, go to law before the unrighteous, and not before the saints? 2 Do you not know that the saints will judge the world? And if the world will be judged by you, are you unworthy to judge the smallest matters? 3 Do you not know that we shall judge angels? How much more, things that pertain to this life? 4 If then you have judgments concerning things pertaining to this life, do you appoint those who are least esteemed by the church to judge? 5 I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you, not even one, who will be able to judge between his brethren? 6 But brother goes to law against brother, and that before unbelievers!

    7 Now therefore, it is already an utter failure for you that you go to law against one another. Why do you not rather accept wrong? Why do you not rather let yourselves be cheated? 8 No, you yourselves do wrong and cheat, and you do these things to your brethren! 9a Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God?

    Comment by Hugh McCann — April 25, 2011 @ 11:58 AM

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