Go tell Aunt Rhody, Go tell Aunt Rhody, Go tell Aunt Rhody, The old gray goose is dead.
The one she's been saving... (x3) To make a feather bed.
The goslings are mourning... (x3) Because their mother's dead.
The old gander's weeping...(x3) Because his wife is dead.
She died in the mill pond...(x3) From standing on her head.
It's good to see that someone is concerned enough to send Rhody the news. Oh my, what should Aunt Rhody do?
A. Cook her goose
B. Make that new feather bed now
C. Invite company over for dinner
D. All of the above
E. What can she do? The Goose is dead!
While you finish that question, I'll turn to Luke, chapter 13. Just reading through the chapter, I find there is a vast theology of Jesus contained in this one chapter. If I could read only this, then it would be enough to explain the Gospel in totality. Let me break it down this way first. I see twelve parts:
1. Some people asked Jesus about the recent atrocious act where Pilate killed some Jews who were in the act of sacrificing an offering on the altar. Their human blood ran down, mingling with the blood of the beasts...making the appearance that the act was done, "for God's glory." Pilate believed the worshippers were actually insurrectionists, so he wanted them dead. He was paranoid with good cause. The men in the crowd around Jesus were concerned about whether this was a visible sign of the wrath of God on those men. Was their death a punishment for sin? (verses 1-3)
2. Jesus compared the act to the recent fall of a tower in Siloam, probably during one of the aqueduct building projects, which killed 18 men. Jesus asks were these men more sinful than others? (verses 4-5)
3. Jesus tells them a parable about a fig tree that doesn't give fruit for three years in a row, and the boss orders it to be cut down. But, a gardner intercedes, offering to fertilize the tree and asks for one more year to see fruit before chopping the tree down. (verses 6-9) (There is so much Christology in that! )
4. Jesus heals a bent lady in the synagogue on the Sabbath, to much consternation of the rulers. The rulers rebuke the woman, but Jesus in turn rebukes them, asking whether it is right for a "Daughter of Abraham" to be healed on the Sabbath. Now, by calling her a daughter of Abraham, you could say He was calling her a daughter of the law. And, the Sabbath was Law. So, I see this as Jesus' way of saying that it was lawful to help the children of the law, despite the law. (verses 10-16)
5. The people all rejoice over this kind (and somewhat revolutionary) saying of Jesus. (verse 17)
6. Then Jesus tells the crowds some parables to explain what God's Kingdom was all about. He compares the Kingdom to the planting of a mustard seed growing into a great tree, and then to leaven, or yeast kneaded into three bushels of meal, which spreads out and leavens the whole pile. That is a lot of bread!
7. Then Jesus is asked the question about how few people will be saved. He tells them to work hard at entering into the straight gate because many people will try to be saved, but few will make it. (verses 22-24)
8. Then, Jesus tells them a parable of a man of the house who closes the door at night and refuses entry to anyone not "in the family." (verses 25-27)
9. Jesus tells that many Jews will see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and all the prophets in Heaven, but themselves in hell. What a shock for the blood descendants of Abraham! (verses 28-29)
10. Jesus explains that in His Kingdom, the people who are last on earth will be first, and vice versa. (verse 30)
11. The Pharisees warn Jesus that He should leave Jerusalem before Herod kills Him. Jesus replies:
"...Go ye, and tell that fox, Behold, I cast out devils, and I do cures to day and to morrow, and the third day I shall be perfected. Nevertheless I must walk to day, and to morrow, and the day following: for it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem. "
Jesus called Herod a fox and insisted on keeping His previous itenerary of speaking and healing engagements in Jerusalem, despite their rejection. It seems quite shocking that Jesus would mock Herod and tell him where to find Him, almost daring him to do something about it, because He knew Herod could do nothing until he was allowed into the barnyard. (verses 31-34)
12. Finally we see Jesus proclaiming that Jerusalem will see Him proclaimed as Lord in the end. (verse 35)
Quite a lengthy chapter, but full of explicit, systematic teaching on what to expect from the Kingdom of God. Jesus was a great teacher! But, all of these twelve parts tell the Gospel when put together. The numbers below refer to the same parts as above:
1. Evil in this world
2. Answers in the face of calamity
3. Responsibility of sin / Call for repentance / Intercession and bearing fruit
4. Children of God deserving of God's blessings because of Grace
5. The rejoicing of all humanity over Grace
6. The continuing expansion of the Kingdom (That is a lot of bread! It seems symbolic of the size of the world. God is showing us how the Kingdom is expanding. His Kingdom message of the Gospel will expand and cover the world.)
7. Seemingly contradictory limits placed on entry into God's Kingdom
8. Defining answer to entry into the kingdom: blood rights prevail!
9. Whose blood? Not blood of Abraham, but blood of Jesus. Are you covered by His blood?
10. The saints will be exalted in Glory in the coming Kingdom of God
11. A Glimpse of the Battle between Jesus and Satan
12. Triumph of Jesus over all
There now. You have the Gospel in a chapter. Don't we have Christ crucified and risen in verse 32? Yes! He is Lord over all! No foxes in the barnyard will change His plans.
It's high time for Aunt Rhody to make that feather bed. Why wait any longer...the goose is dead. And, if her goose is cooked, all the better to share with company I say! But the chapter doesn't end with the resurrection of Christ. There is glory to come. Meanwhile the battle rages! The fox is in the barnyard. Make sure your goose doesn't get cooked lest Satan uses your plucked glory to feather his bed.