Friday, June 17, 2016

Luke 11:45-54

Luke 11:45-54
Answering, one of the lawyers said to Him, “Teacher, in saying these things you injure us.”  And He said, “Woe to you lawyers, also!  You place heavy burdens that are hard to bear upon men yet you yourselves do not touch the burden with one finger!  Woe to you all, because you all build tombs of prophets yet your fathers killed them.  Therefore, you are witnesses and you approve of the work of your fathers because in one case they killed them and in another case you build the tombs.  The wisdom of God also speaks through this, “I will send into them prophets and apostles.  And out of them, they will kill and persecute in order that all of the blood of the prophets that has been shed from the foundation of the world will be sought out from this generation – from the blood of Abel through the blood of Zechariah, who was destroyed between the altar and the sanctuary.  Yes, I say to you, it will be sought out from this generation.  Woe to you lawyers, because you all raised up the key of knowledge.  You all did not enter and you all forbid the ones who do enter.  From then on, after departing, the scribes and Pharisees began to grievously quarrel and provoke Him to speak in greater detail, lying in wait to hunt something out of His mouth.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

The first woe against the lawyers is their desire to lay heavy burdens on the people.  These are the ones who are saying “Do this” and “Don’t do that.”  But they are doing more than that.  They are saying, “Do it this specific way” and “Don’t do it this specific way.”  There are certainly things that God desires of us and things that God desires us to refrain from doing.  But God’s methods and God’s calling change contextually.  One approach to ministry will work in one area and another approach will work in another area.  We certainly need to keep God’s will before us and attain it.  But we must have flexibility and grace as we implement God’s will for our life.

In your life, where do you cling too closely to the restrictions and turn God’s Law into a burden on yourself and others?  Where are you able to hold up Gods Law in a way that also promotes grace and forgiveness?

Second Thought:

The third woe that is given to the lawyers is about raising up the key of knowledge.  At first, this sounds like a good thing.  When we raise something up, we can think of elevating it and giving it glory.  But that isn’t how Jesus means it in this case.  Jesus is saying that the lawyers are raising it up out of the reach of other people.  They are lifting up the Law in such a way as to prevent other people from having access to it.  In doing so, they are preventing regular people from having a relationship with God.  This is what Jesus means when He says that they themselves do not enter and they prohibit the ones who would enter.

Are you ever guilty of making God seem unattainable?  How can you strive to lift up the ways of God while also still lifting up the idea that God desires relationship with all people?

Third Thought:

I do find the reaction of the Pharisees and scribes sad.  They hear things that they don’t like and they seek a way to condemn Jesus.  Unfortunately, they don’t consider Jesus’ message.  They don’t want to hear that He might be right.  They don’t even want to consider that He might be right.  Their minds are made up.  They are going to get rid of Him rather than consider that He might be right.  That kind of rejection is difficult and sad to watch.

Where have you been willing to listen?  How have you benefitted from listening to criticism?  When have you rejected honest criticism?  How has your rejection hindered your growth and development as a person?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 12:1-3
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