Monday, August 29, 2016

Luke 20:45-47

Luke 20:45-47
And while all the people heard he said to his disciples, “Give heed to the scribes – the ones who desire to walk around in long robes, who love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the seats of honor in the dinners.  They devour the houses of the widows and they pray long prayers hidden in pretext.  These ones will take an extraordinary judgment.

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

Jesus warns us about desiring to show off in front of other people.  Jesus speaks about the scribes, who desire to walk around in long – or fancy and expensive – robes.  Jesus warns us about the religious leaders who desire to sit in places of honor so they can be seen by other people.  Jesus’ disciples are not supposed to be seeking their own glory and their fame.  Jesus’ disciples are to be seeking the honor and glory of God!  How we act in front of other people truly shows what we worship.  If we walk humbly before God, we show that He is our God.  If we walk arrogantly while drawing attention to our own glory, we are showing that our God is really ourselves.

Why do you think Jesus warns us against demonstrations of our own glory in front of other people?  What is the danger to ourselves when other people consider us to be great?

Second Thought:

Jesus also warns us about flattery.  He cautions us against getting the best seats.  He warns us about receiving profound greetings.  When we look for things such as this, we create an appetite for it.  Suddenly we find ourselves behaving in certain ways to please other people so that we are complemented and praised.  Not too long after that we often find ourselves caring more about pleasing other people than pleasing God.  The danger with flattery is that we can so easily fall in love with the praise that we forget about being in love with God.

Do you like being praised?  Why is it important to be praised from time to time?  How do you know when you are in danger of being praised too much so that you start caring more about the praise and attention than you care about God?

Third Thought:

What is the wage for oppressing others and taking more than you are due?  Extraordinary judgment.  Take this to heart.  When we live outside of our means and infringe upon others – especially those who cannot afford to be infringed upon – we will get what we deserve in eternal life.  Do you remember Jesus’ story about Lazarus and the rich man?  In that story, Abraham is very clear that the rich man has gotten his reward by living a life of comfort while Lazarus has lived a life of begging and rejection.  Jesus’ message is consistent all the way through.  Life is not about living in luxury and getting all that we can here and now.  Life is about living in our means and caring for people like orphans and widows who need someone to help them.

Where do you live outside your means?  Where do you infringe upon others?  Where is your life made easy by the hard work of others, others who may not be able to share in your luxury?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 21:1-4
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