Word@Work, Let God's Word energise your working day!


Filter by Chapter Number

Opening for Business

Luke 7:36-38

Jesus and His disciples had been invited to a dinner with a religious leader (Matthew 26:6-13).  We do not know the Pharisee’s motivation, whether he wanted to patronise the travelling preacher, or to get a more personal insight into Jesus.  After the meal had started, an uninvited woman came in and stood behind Jesus.  The woman was known for her immoral reputation.  So, when she arrived at a smart dinner party, without an invitation, it caused quite a stir.  Jesus and the other guests would have been reclining on low couches with their feet stretched out away from the central table.

Who Knows?

Luke 7:39-40

Jesus had been touched by an immoral woman, but He did not reject her (Luke 7:36-38).  She came, ashamed of her sinful life, her tears splashed on Jesus’ feet.  Drying them with her hair, the woman poured very costly perfume over them.  Jesus’ host, Simon the Pharisee who kept strict moral and religious rules to ensure that he was 'cleaner than clean', was confused by Jesus' reaction to the weeping woman.  Surely, he thought, if Jesus really was from God, He would know her character and refuse to have anything to do with her.  How could a holy person have anything to do with a publicly sham

Cancelling the Debt

Luke 7:41-43

We are part of the way through the extraordinary encounter Jesus had with a highly religious Pharisee and an immoral woman.  As invited guests, Jesus and His disciples reclined on cushions as a generous dinner was served on a low table.  Their feet stretched away from the table.  The woman with a sordid reputation came into the room, stood weeping over Jesus’ feet, drying them with her hair and pouring perfume over them.  Simon the Pharisee was indignant although he did not say anything.  But Jesus knew exactly what he was thinking (Luke 7:36-40).

Welcoming Jesus

Luke 7:44-47

Eastern hospitality demanded the courtesy of making guests feel welcome and comfortable.  After a hot and dusty walk, cool water would have refreshed the feet and, after washing face and hands, a little oil would have refreshed the visitor's head.  However, although Simon the Pharisee invited Jesus to his home (Luke 7:36-43), he was not even polite; he did not offer the traditional courtesies nor did he welcome the Saviour.  Good manners vanished as the religious expert tried to expose some defect in Jesus’ character.  Instead, Jesus found Simon’s religion defective: the Pharisee had no und

Who can Forgive Sins?

Luke 7:48-50

Simon the Pharisee had invited Jesus to dinner, but ignored the customary polite welcome (Luke 7:44-46).  Instead, an immoral woman who gate-crashed the party demonstrated grief over her sin and faith that Jesus would accept her (Luke 7:36-38).  Teaching Simon through a parable, Jesus explained that forgiveness was central to God’s heart and His mission (Luke 7:40-47).  The woman was forgiven because she openly admitted her sin, whereas the religious leader did not think he needed to be forgiven: his self-righteousness blinded him to the reality of his own sin.   

Training on the Job

Luke 8:1-3

Jesus’ ministry was a training course for those disciples who He appointed as apostles (Mark 3:14).  They did not know it at the time, but they would be the leaders of the Early Church.  They would all suffer for their faith and most would be martyred.  It was vital for them to see Jesus in action, to learn from Him (‘disciple’ means ‘learner’) and to be able to do what Jesus did after they had received the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8).

Scattering Seed

Luke 8:4-8

This parable of the sower mirrored the hearts of the people who crowded around Jesus.  He started the story while the people were still gathering from many towns and as they jostled to hear Jesus.  A few would have heard everything; others would pick up fragments.  And of those who physically heard His words, only a few might have understood the meaning He intended.  But Jesus was speaking about them: people whose hearts were careless, hard, or distracted; but also some who wanted to receive God’s Word for themselves (Matthew 7:24-27).

Sharing the Secret

Luke 8:9-10

Some things are too precious to tell everybody.  We only share secrets with those we trust and who need the information (Deuteronomy 29:29).  To test who is really interested, for the right reasons, we might see how people respond to a little of the story.  If they are uninterested, we can move the conversation on: if they show respect and are concerned to know more, we will tell them more.  That is why Jesus spoke in parables (Matthew 13:24).  Truth-seekers recognise the need to understand the meaning of the story, while truth-evaders walk away from the possibility of being exposed by the

Life in a Small Package

Luke 8:11

Seeds may be eaten as food, but their primary purpose is to reproduce the life of the organism, in another place at another time.  The Word of God is seed: it contains truth which is the spiritual genetic material of God's kingdom. Wherever, and whenever, it takes root in a human heart, the characteristics of God's heart are formed in that person (Galatians 4:19).  

Downtrodden Indifference

Luke 8:12

A path is only a path because the ground is trodden down by many feet.  Whatever its original purpose, the strip of hard soil is defined by the people (or animals) that repeatedly walk over it.  The result is an impervious surface which will not allow anything to grow.  Jesus used that analogy to describe people who hear God's Word but are unchanged by it.  The seed of truth has no chance to germinate because a resistant shell is around the person's heart (Matthew 13:15).