The gospel reading for October 31 comes toward the end of
what most Lucan scholars call Luke's travel narrative. It begins ten chapters
earlier at 9:51, where Luke tells us, "When the days drew near for Jesus to be
taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem."
One would expect to follow Jesus' progress on a map—but the
coordinates make no geographical sense.
The people of God were slaves in Egypt when God heard their cries and sent Moses to lead them. But their hardships were not over. For 40 years they wandered in the wilderness. Moses died; Joshua took his place (Joshua means "God saves") and led the people over the Jordan and into the Promised Land. But their hardships were still not over.
As a lectionary preacher, I’ve journeyed through the Gospel of Luke for
over 25 years. But this year I noticed something new. Luke places the
story of two rich folks in close textual proximity; in chapter 18, a
rich official remains nameless; in chapter 19, we meet a chief tax
collector named Zacchaeus. And in between?
Not long ago the local newspaper carried a story about a young couple traveling to visit relatives in a neighboring state. Having parked along the side of the road so the woman could nurse their baby, the man stretched his legs and admired the view of the river and a nearby bridge. Within minutes a state patrol car stopped to check out the scene.