Monday, July 23, 2007

the purse

(Luke 9:3 - Jesus sends out the twelve): “Jesus told them: ‘Take nothing for the journey – no staff, no bag, no bread, NO MONEY, no extra tunic’.”

(Luke 10:4 - Jesus sends out the seventy-two): “Do not take a PURSE or bag or sandals;

(Luke 22:35-36 – The night before Jesus gets killed): “Jesus asked them, ‘When I sent you without a purse, bag or sandals, did you lack anything?’ ‘Nothing,’ they answered. He said to them, ‘But NOW if you have a purse, TAKE IT, and also a bag; and if you don’t have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one’.”

It is not my usual practice to cut and paste scripture to my liking. But assuming any of the above verses have any link to each other: what do they mean?

All recorded by the same author (Luke), the first two accounts shows Jesus sending out his followers and instructing them to take nothing.

I only assume this is to show them that the CEO will provide, thus avoiding temptation to rely upon one’s own means. I don’t know.

Then, just before he gets hauled off and eventually killed, Jesus tells them more or less to stock up because all hell’s about to break loose. And also “arm yourselves”.

I never understood that sword part. Especially in light of “turn the other cheek” and all related teachings. But that’s a different topic.

In honor of my upcoming three year anniversary (Sept 04) of unwillingly becoming income-less and thus, going at this mission thing without a “purse”, I choose to ponder over this trio of purse verses as saying “First, learn to minister without money. Then when money comes your way you will know how to handle it well”.

That’s a huge stretch. But I’d love to hear everyone’s take on this subject. Thanks.


Beyond Words said...

N.T. Wright says in his Luke commentary that Jesus was trying to tell his disciples that what he was going through would separate him from them for a while-he would have to go through it alone and he would not be there to protect them for a time. It was the price he would pay for going through death and out the other side.

But he's come out the other side, and has promised never to forsake us.

I hope that helps.

Leanne said...

I'm thinking it's just "learn to minister" period, B.

Kinda like Paul's being able to be content in any circumstances, I think we just need to learn to minister in any circumstances regardless of resources other than Divine.

I don't think if you "get" this lesson you'll get a bigger/better lesson.

I think you just get it, period.

Tangerinetinselbreeze said...

I think in some ways it is hard to understand, depending on the context of your life.
I have had times in my life where I had no money, no gas, no food, and I still had provision. I know others that dream huge financial windfall, yet struggle financially. I know others that have never struggled and have always lived white picket fence lives. I am not here to judge them. I know the road I have walked has not always been easy. I know it is easier for me to give to random people. I may be down to zero- but always trust. It is easier for me because my husband is a source of strength. We are in this together and his mantra of " we will be okay, we always have, we always will" has always given me hope and security. I have not always walked in desire to serve God. Yet I believe the times that are barren do provide perspective and compassion that no one can manufacture without experience. Jesus understands. Hope I did not miss the point.

Mark said...

You're in the clear for "scripture pasting" since Jesus himself referred back to his statement about the purse. :)

I'd probably agree with you that he was teaching them that there is a time to go without, and a time to be prepared to hunker down. As far as the sword goes, I absolutely don't have a CLUE!

Amanda said...

I think maybe Jesus told them all to leave everything because he was going to take care of everything for them, as he has been doing for you and your family. But then when he told them to get their stuff he knew he was leaving soon and they would have to start fighting now. Not physically fighting with the soldiers but more spiritually fighting with the enemy. Jesus spent all this time teaching and preparing these people, so when he was gone they would know what to do. I think this is what God is doing with you. I think it's awesome that you're coming up on your three year anniversary! Just sit back and marvel in all that the Lord has done for you. You touch so many peoples lives! Even people you never meet.

Agent B said...

beyond words -

Thanks for the input. That makes sense.

Agent B said...

Leanne -

just "learn to minister"

Yes. I have long felt that my family are in an intense hands-on training period. Almost like a boot camp.

Or...maybe our life will be like this forever...

Agent B said...

Tang -

" we will be okay, we always have, we always will"

When things in my life get down, looking back on how "everything ended up OK" is usually what helps get me through.

Now that I have a 3 year track record of the CEO's getting easier to not whine anymore.

Agent B said...

Mark -

Thanks for clearing my scripture cut-n-paste. Coming from a bible scholar, that means a lot.

Agent B said...

Amanda -

As always, thanks for your encouraging words. I needed that.

I didn't know these reports "touch people's lives". Thanks.