Sunday, April 28, 2013
I read Luke 11. It is jam-packed with important, memorable words. Jesus, by request, teaches "The Lord's Prayer" as a sufficient prayer if one can't think of anything else to pray. He relates a brief anecdote that leads to the reassuring "Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find..." He casts out a demon, & when the source of his power is questioned, answers with "Any kingdom divided against itself will be ruined, and a house divided against itself will fall." Lincoln famously used that one. Jesus elaborates a bit on this. Then we come to the self-defense justification. Here is the full quote: “When a strong man, fully armed, guards his own house, his possessions are safe. But when someone stronger attacks and overpowers him, he takes away the armor in which the man trusted and divides up his plunder." Well, the meaning now is quite changed. The fully armed strong man, standing alone, is not strong enough. What immediately follows is: "Whoever is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with me scatters." Jesus says if you sweep one impure spirit out of your house - call it a lone act of self-defense, it may come back with seven more. What protection does one have then? A woman in the audience interrupts with, " Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.” Nowadays she'd be a Roman Catholic. Jesus acknowledges this off-topic praise indirectly.
All of Luke 11 to this point is about community & solidarity. It's about security in faith & in the Word of God. It is not about having Jesus' permission to guard one's HD flat screen TV with a gun.