Sunday, August 21, 2016

Luke 20:1-8

Luke 20:1-8
And it became in one of the days while he teaches the people in the temple.  Even while bringing good news, the high priests, scribes, and elders stood near and spoke, saying to him, “Say to us, in what kind of authority do you do these things? Who is the one who gave this authority to you?”  And answering, He said to them, “I will interrogate you all with a word.  Say also to me, ‘The baptism of John, was it out of heaven or out of mankind?’”  And they debate with themselves, saying, “If we should say ‘out of heaven’ he will say ‘for what sake did you all not believe him?  And is we should say ‘out of mankind’ all the people will stone us, for they are having been convinced John to be a prophet.  And they answered to not know from where.  And Jesus said to them, “Neither do I say to you all in what kind of authority I do these things.”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

I love the contrast in the way that Luke sets the context of this passage.  Jesus is preaching good news.  Yet, even while Jesus is preaching, people come to test Him.  These people cannot see the good things of Jesus.  They are not willing to listen to His preaching and see it as good news.

Are you open to the good news of Jesus?  Do you even feel the need to test the Word of God, even when you know it is good news?

Second Thought:

At first glance, the question from the religious leaders seems rather innocent.  They simply seem to be curious about the authority of Jesus.  From an innocent perspective, this question is rather innocent.  But the religious leaders are not coming from a perspective of innocence.  They are coming from a perspective of trickery.  They desire to entrap Jesus.  They know that in the eyes of the people they can twist any answer that Jesus can give to the question.  Once more we see a great example that black-and-white definitions of right and wrong do not portray reality.  An action is not necessarily right because of its external appearance.  Motivation is sometimes more important than the act itself when determining placement.

Have you ever done or said things that people think are righteous when you know in your heart they aren’t as righteous as they think?  Hwy is it hard for human beings to truly judge the actions of the people around them?  How does this make it difficult for human beings to know when we are being enticed into a trap?

Third Thought:

Jesus turns the tables.  He doesn’t feel the need to answer the question.  Instead, He asks one of his own.  The religious leaders opt not to answer because they realize that Jesus could easily turn the tables on them.  Since they don’t answer, Jesus is cleared of any shame in not answering their question in return.  God provides a way out of the trap.  God’s plan will still be done.  Jesus will be crucified.  But it will be on God’s terms, not the terms of the religious elite.

Has God ever provided a way out for you when you were being entrapped?  Have you ever attempted to entrap another person?  What are the motivations for entrapping others?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 20:9-12
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