Tag Archives: Luke 15

Outer Circle Christians (Part 6 of 6)

[The final piece of this topic on Outer Circle Christians. You’ll find the entire essay here…]

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:8-10

 

“Doesn’t she light a lamp?”

 

The woman lights candle, not so the coin can see her, but so she can see it. In the same way the Holy Spirit helps us find trashed yet treasured people and empowers us to bring them back to their rightful Owner. Continue reading

Outer Circle Christians (Part 5 of 6)

The previous posts of this series give the context for this sort of out of the box interpretation of this parable in Luke 15:8-10. I recommend you read those first.

The Spirit lights the way for outer circle saints to seek outer circle sinners

“Or suppose a woman has ten silver coins and loses one. Doesn’t she light a lamp, sweep the house and search carefully until she finds it? And when she finds it, she calls her friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost coin.’ In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.” Luke 15:8-10

Of the three, this tiny parable is probably the least familiar and its interpretation a little up for grabs. Each one of these stories seems to feature a different Member of the Trinity. Jesus stars in the lost sheep story as the Shepherd and the Father plays the protagonist in the prodigal son parable. I propose that in this one the Holy Spirit is depicted by the lamp that lights the way for the woman who is on a quest to find her lost coin. To my mind, the woman herself represents the Church – the Bride of Christ – who, in the light of the Spirit, fervidly searches for lost, but priceless people. Continue reading

Outer Circle Christians (Part 4 of 6)

[I hope you’ll take a look at the 1st three posts or if you’d prefer to view the entire essay you can find it on barneywiget.com.]

The Father loves outer circle sinners and wants his inner circle sons to love them too (Luke 15:11-32)

The most familiar of the three stories is what we typically call the Prodigal Son Parable. Of all Jesus’ parables, this one probably contains the largest cache of spiritual themes and lessons. Each character is significant. There’s the defiant Outer Circle Son who rebelled and later repented. There’s the Pharisaical Inner Circle Son who detested his father’s fawning over his Outer Circle poor excuse for a brother. And then there’s the father who loves his sons fervidly and equally – both the Inner and Outer Circle one. Both sons broke their father’s heart. One left home, while the other one was never really “at home” to begin with. He was as lost as his younger brother, albeit lost while at home. The younger was lost in his rebellion with an empty stomach and the other was lost in his religion with an empty heart. Both needed to come home! Continue reading

Outer Circle Christians (Part 3 of 6)

[I recommend that you take a look at the 1st and 2nd posts or if you’d prefer to view the entire essay you can find it on my website.]

JESUS ­IS AN OUTER CIRCLE SEEKING SAVIOR

“Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the lost sheep until he finds it? And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders 6 and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep.’ 7 I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:3-7

The Messiah that the Pharisees and other God experts made up in their minds would choose them for his Inner Circle. They were the best “Christians” in town, so certainly they would be his Generals while all the actual bad people wouldn’t even make it in his army. That’s why they couldn’t understand what he was doing eating meals with LGBTs and lazy drug addicted homeless people – oops ­– I meant “sinners and tax collectors.” Continue reading

Outer Circle Christians (Part 2 of 6)

“This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:2

Jesus’ welcome was way too wide for the spiritual experts of his time. They didn’t like the people he welcomed, how they looked, where they were from, or how they worshipped. The Pharisees, Judaism’s self-appointed Inner Circle in Jesus’ day, weren’t interested in reaching Outer Circlers. They were way too busy judging them. It’s hard to give people a hand up and push down on them at the same time. The restrictive spirituality of those who looked on the aimless and adrift with disdain sets the tone for the rest of the chapter and the three parables that Jesus told to expose it. Continue reading

Outer Circle Christians (Part 1 of 6)

 “This man welcomes sinners and eats with them.” Luke 15:2

When I was a kid I had a semi-harmless addiction to merry-go-rounds. It was always the first thing I ran to when unleashed on a playground. “Faster!” I shouted to whoever was willing to push as my face turned blue and my stomach queased. For me the game was resisting the increasing centrifugal force pushing outward by fighting my way to the center. I found it surreal that in the middle I could no longer feel the force pushing me outward. I’m sure there’s some science to it – something about Newton and a law he made up – but all I knew at the time was I had won the battle against the merry-go-round, usually at the price of near vomit. Continue reading