Wednesday, October 03, 2018

Jesus and the religious superstars

"Jesus Teaches" by A. Bida
"Jesus Teaches" by A. Bida
TODAY’S SPECIAL: Luke 19-20; Psalm 119:65-96

TO CHEW ON: “Then, in the hearing of all the people, He said to His disciples, ‘Beware of the scribes…’” Luke 20:45,46

The cat-and-mouse game the scribes and chief priests played with Jesus was serious. They wanted to get Him arrested, turned over to the governor, and sentenced (hopefully to death) for something.

They went to great lengths to try to make this happen.
  • They sent spies who pretended to be righteous but with the intent to catch Jesus saying something seditious (Luke 20:21,22).
  • They followed him around. It seems like wherever Jesus taught, there was a coterie of scribes, chief priests and Pharisees frowning and muttering in the background (Luke 20:20, 26, 39).
  • They flattered him (Luke 20:21,39).

Jesus was never tripped up or intimidated. Just the opposite. To His disciples but in the hearing of everyone (Luke takes pains to point out) He condemned the scribes for their religious show, their love of being honored and deferred to, their sanctimonious prayers, and their hypocrisy (Luke 20: 46,47).

Just as Jesus wasn’t  awestruck or taken in by these first century religious superstars, neither should we be starstruck by the religious big names of our time, or try to become one of them.

When we find ourselves tempted to fawn over popular preachers, singers, or authors, or trying to impress others with our learning and insight let’s remind ourselves:
  • God sees past education, cleverness, and talent. Let’s not be too impressed with these things in others or ourselves.
  • Religious showing off is abhorrent to God. Let’s avoid it and not be fooled by it in others.
  • In the end, each of us will stand with our own heart naked before Him. Let’s guard ourselves against sanctimoniousness, the love of human praise, and hypocrisy.

Dear Jesus, Your insight into human nature and refusal to be impressed or intimidated by the religious big names of Your time is inspiring. Help me to live for Your approval, not the approval or praise of people. Amen.

PSALM TO PRAY: Psalm 119:65-96

The Bible Project VIDEO: Luke ch. 19-23 (Gospel of Luke mini-series)

Unless otherwise noted all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version®. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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