"After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go." - Luke 10:1
We start the day off with a change. Luke tells us that Jesus appointed another 72 disciples and sent them out (much like his original 12) to towns around Israel, two by two. Like the other disciples, these 72 seem to have most of the power of Jesus (namely healing the sick). Jesus says that if the town welcomes them, they are to heal the sick and eat their food. If the town doesn't welcome them, they are to tell them that their fate will be worse than Sodom in the end times.
Next is the parable of he good Samaritan. The story starts out with an expert of the law asking Jesus what he needs to do to get eternal life. The rich boy asked Jesus this question in the other two gospels. This time the answer is different. The teacher says, to receive eternal life you should "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and love your neighbor as yourself." Jesus agrees that this is what should be done.
Wait a minute. That was the "most important" commandment from the other gospels. Not what you needed to get eternal life. I'll quote the story:
As Jesus started on his way, a man ran up to him and fell on his knees before him. "Good teacher," he asked, "what must I do to inherit eternal life?"
... You know the commandments: 'Do not murder, do not commit adultery, do not steal, do not give false testimony, do not defraud, honor your father and mother.' "
"Teacher," he declared, "all these I have kept since I was a boy."
Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me." [Mark 10:17-21]
So which is it? Do I have to follow these randomly picked commandments? Do I just have to love God and my neighbor? Or do I just have to "accept Jesus" like I've been told by so many Christians? For something as important as eternal life, Jesus certainly doesn't give us a clear route to it.
The actual story of the good Samaritan comes about when the teacher asks Jesus to define what a "neighbor" is. Jesus (speaking in parable as usual) tells a story of a man that was beat up and passed by, by all sorts of "good" people (Israelites). Finally a Samaritan helps him. Jesus asks which is the neighbor, the Israelites or the Samaritan. The expert of the law says the Samaritan and Jesus agrees. So only people who do good things for you are neighbors? What happened to love your enemy? I guess that's just another "suggestion", because you only have to love your neighbor to get into heaven.
Chapter 11 is back to the stories we've already heard. There is an abbreviated version of the Lord's prayer, Jesus being accused of working with Satan, Jesus promising the "sign of Jonah" (though he doesn't specify the amount of days), and six woes for the Pharisees.
What's one of the biggest intellectual arguments against God? Right, he's "not fun":
Over the years, people have been taking pot shots at the Bible, stating that serving God is not fun and the Bible is worthless. These intellectual assassins never take the time to read the book. If a critic would read the Scriptures, they would discover that it is loaded with feast days (a.k.a. biblical holidays). When a feast is declared in the Bible, it means "party down" with friends and family.
The "you just haven't read the book" argument is getting more and more ridiculous as I near the end of the bible. Where were these "party down" days in the Old Testament? The feasts were largely about sacrificing hoards of animals to God and worshiping. That's not to mention that not participating in these "fun" feasts was punishable by death. "Have fun, or I'll kill you." Sounds great.
I think "not fun" is the least of God's problems. Not killing people needs to go on the to do list before having more fun.
Under the New Covenant, we have the freedom to celebrate -- or not. That's called freedom of choice.
Oh, so God just recently caught on to this whole "freedom" thing? Slaughtering innocents, flooding the world, just recently catching on to the idea of freedom. Obviously the most intellectual argument against God is that he's "not fun".
(via Indy Star)