May 15, 2024


Gospel acc.  to Luke chapter 11 verses 10 – 13


Jesus Christ says: “For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks on the door, it will be opened. ‘Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!’ 


Dear Readers,


the stamp I would like to show you today is from Ghana in West Africa and depicts a scorpion. Ghana is rich in tropical plants and animals. Scorpions also live in the warm climate. I don't know which scorpion is depicted on the stamp. I read that the African giant scorpion Pandinius imperator grows up to 25 cm and is a protected species. 


We don´t have scorpions here in Germany. Things must have been very different in Israel at the time when Jesus was traveling. These arachnids must have been widespread because Jesus mentions them twice. He promises his disciples special protection from these animals (Gospel of Luke 10, 19): “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.”


I think that was a very caring promise. As many people at that time were barefoot or wearing light shoes, they could also accidentally step on small scorpions. Jesus promises his disciples that they are under his special protection when proclaiming the gospel. Anyone who passes on the gospel of God's love should therefore be under God's special protection.


In another conversation, Jesus teaches his disciples how lovingly the Father in heaven answers our prayers. Jesus teaches the disciples the Lord's Prayer and then calls on them to ask God for everything! He uses a comparison with snakes and scorpions. Why is that?


I think these animals were quite well known from everyday lives back then. There must have been encounters again and again. Perhaps in the same way as we have sparrows and blackbirds. In these everyday experiences, Jesus says: The Father in heaven never gives anything that would harm us. The Father in heaven only gives his children good things and never bad things. Jesus says: When a child is hungry and asks its father (or mother) for food, the parents never give anything that would harm their child. No sensible person in this world gives their child a poisonous scorpion when they ask for an egg. How can there be such an absurd thing! 


So, we can ask God for everything! The Lord's Prayer is a guideline for us. But God likes it best when we ask for his Holy Spirit. God loves giving us the Holy Spirit most of all when we ask him for it. For the Holy Spirit is the most important gift that we Christians need for our salvation and for our ministry (see Paul in the letter to the Romans, chapters 8, 9).


The “snakes and scorpions” that poison life consist of „sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery, idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like” (as to be read in Paul´s Letter to the Galatians 5, 19 - 21). 


would like to encourage you to ask for the gift of the Holy Spirit in addition to asking for daily bread. Jesus Christ expressly encourages us to do so! This gift is “spiritual bread”, the bread of life. For where God's Spirit is, there is “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control” (Galatians 5, 22). What an unimaginably great gift that our Father in Heaven wants to bless us with.


Thank you very much for listening to me. I cordially invite you to the next service on June 1. Until then, I wish you God's blessing and protection in spirit, soul, and body through our Lord Jesus Christ.

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