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Jesus’ Preoccupation With Thievery

Sunday I preached about the eighth commandment from Exodus 20, and during that sermon I highlighted the following eight ways Jesus seems to be preoccupied with stealing.


  1. When Jesus cleared the Temple, he referred to it as having become a den for thieves. Yes, he was quoting Jeremiah, but he chose that particular scripture to quote (Mark 11:17).
  2. Jesus referred to the devil as a thief (John 10:10). Two verses earlier, he said all those who came before him were thieves and robbers.
  3. In the Olivet Discourse, Jesus referred to the unknown timing of the end of all things as like knowing when a thief is coming at night (Matthew 24:43).
  4. In the Sermon on the Mount, the Lord said we should store up treasure in heaven where rust, moth, and thieves can’t get to it (Matthew 6:19).
  5. The Lord tells a weird parable about the need to tie up a strong man before you steal his stuff out of his house (Luke 11: 21-23).
  6. The parable of the Good Samaritan begins with the unfortunate traveler falling in among robbers as he goes down from Jericho (Luke 10:30).
  7. Judas was thief. Jesus knew this, but chose him anyway (John 12:6).
  8. The Lord was crucified between two thieves (Mark 15:27).

357110f18ce7fa5c52c33246b44ca58fThere are probably more of these thievery themes interwoven in the Gospels, but these are the eight I highlighted. I don’t know if I would build a theological argument from this data alone, and if so what that argument wold be, but I do think it is safe to say Jesus had a slight preoccupation with thievery, and that in and of itself is fascinating.

SOME THOUGHTS ON MUSLIMS IN AMERICA

I am pretty sure if Jesus told the Parable of the Good Samaritan today, in the United States, it would be told as the Parable of the Good Muslim.

Jesus and his family were political and religious refugees in Egypt in his early years.

Baptists were persecuted in Colonial America, and in Europe they were martyred for their beliefs.

When any one faith group is singled out, it is not long before all faith communities will be viewed suspiciously.

The inability to differentiate between Muslim terrorists (Jihadis, ISIS, Al-Qaeda, etc…)  and the other 1.6 billion Muslims is as ridiculous as blaming all Catholics for the Irish terrorists (IRA) in the 80s, or even all Irish for it.

I remember how people pointed fingers at conservatives after the Oklahoma City bombing in 1995. Can anyone imagine all white conservative males being blamed for that?

We Christ-followers rightly scream ‘foul!’ whenever someone uses the instances of people killing abortion providers or blowing up abortion clinics to paint all us as violent extremists. That is probably how many Muslims feel right now.

Pluralism is beautiful. For the love of all that is good and decent, don’t let demagogues set the agenda, and refuse to let xenophobic racists take a place of leadership.