All in Volume - 61

In May, 2017, The Gospel Message published an article entitled “The Church & Our Sisters” in which I offered what I believe to be the Bible’s answers to the following two questions: (1) What does it mean to be “in church” (1 Corinthians 14:28, 35)? and (2) What is the role of our sisters “in church”?   In response to that article, as well as to public teaching on the subject before and since, several questions have consistently come up which deserve attention.  In this article, I’d like to take up just a couple of those (and, perhaps, in a future article, we can address others).

In Luke 15, Christ tells the parable about a man who goes to his father with a presumptuous request: to receive his inheritance now.  His father grants his requests, and in a short time the son leaves home and squanders his inheritance on, as the Bible describes it, prodigal living.  Just prior to the man making a change in his life and going back to his father, we find him penniless and feeding pigs.  He is even jealous of their food because it is better than what he is eating.  What brought him to this place, or started him on this path, can be traced back to that first decision:  he decided that he wanted what he felt like was his right now.  Had he never made that decision he probably would not have found himself in the company of swine, jealous of their food.  

In Luke 12:13-15, we read the following account, 

“Then one from the crowd said to Him, ‘Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.’ But he said to him, ‘Man, who made me a judge or an arbitrator over you?’ And he said to them, ‘Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.’”

Jesus, who would rebuke the disciples for not letting the little children take up his time, would not arbitrate between this man and his brother. Plainly, he told this man, “No.” The Son of God did not have time to deal with this situation of the flesh.

It is not an uncommon experience for me to be asked a thousand questions a day. This is part of being a parent, a teacher, and having a reputation for always having an answer. I know that I’m not alone in having to field all these questions, and most of us don’t like to say, “I don’t know.” Though, sometimes that is the best answer we can give. A small example of this came up recently during a class. We were discussing the Tabernacle and what was used to make it. Exodus 25:3-5 gives a small part of this list: