Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Luke 16:14-18

Luke 16:14-18
And all of these Pharisees were listening, being lovers of money, and they were ridiculing Him.  And He said to them, “You are the ones who exhibit righteousness yourselves in the presence of men.  But God knows your hearts.  The exalted things among men are an abomination in the presence of God. The Law are the prophets are until John (The Baptizer).  From that time on the kingdom of God is being proclaimed and everyone inflicts violence into it.  And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one little law to fall.  Everyone who released his wife and who marries another commits adultery.  And the man who marries the one being released from the husband commits adultery.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Jesus makes enemies.  Shocker, right?  Not really, especially when we see that these enemies are the religious elite.  In teaching, Jesus upsets the religious leaders around Him.  Look at how they respond.  They ridicule Him.  They mock Him.  They poke fun at Him.  This is often what happens when we care more about the Father than the ways of the world around us.  If they mocked Jesus, they will ridicule us, too.

Have you ever been ridiculed in the faith?  What does ridicule actually say about you?  What does it say about the people who ridicule you?

Second Thought:

God knows our hearts.  He knows our desires.  He knows if we are trying to impress Him or the people around us.  He knows.  The scary thing is that Jesus is up front and tells us what it looks like when we are trying to impress others and not Him.  We insert violence into the kingdom!  When we proclaim to be God’s follower yet are trying to impress the hearts of the people around us rather than trying to impress God, we end up misrepresenting God instead.

Have you ever misrepresented God?  When are you most likely to be guilty of trying to impress the people around you rather than being obedient to the will of the Father?

Third Thought:

Jesus gives us a very direct and concise teaching about adultery and divorce.  The teaching is simple.  If a man releases his wife – in other words, divorces – and remarries he commits adultery.  If a person marries a divorced woman, it is also adultery.  Now, of course, this doesn’t count widows.  The teaching is clear.  Marriage is in the presence of God.  If God joins two people together, who are we to break it up?  And if we do break it up, who are we to ask God to bind us to another?  Of course, we also need to remember that we are to be a people of grace.  While it may be wrong according to the Law, just like everything else wrong according to the Law it can be forgiven in repentance.  We need to take Jesus’ teaching very seriously here.  But at the same time, we do not want to set it up as something that irrevocably prohibits relationship with God, either.

Why is this an important teaching to learn?  Why is it equally important in our culture to remember that we are a people about grace?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 16:19-31
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