The Gospel of Luke Devotional
- Friday, June 29, 2018
- Bible Reading: Luke 20:1-47
- Focus Scriptures: Genesis 1:27 God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female. He created them.
- Luke 20:25 And He said to them, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to God the things that are God’s.”
It’s so amazing when we run into someone who looks like us. Perhaps it’s their hair, the way they walk, or their facial expressions seem to mirror our own. I enjoy going through photos of celebrity look-a-likes or body doubles; I always have a hard time figuring out who is the ‘original’. I vaguely recall a Game Show that had contestants attempt to guess who was the real celebrity. It was uncanny how closely these “unrelated” people resembled each other. Why?…Because we all bear the image of God.
You’re so: beautiful, handsome, intelligent, courageous, ingenious, talented, humble, adventurous, strong. You look like a movie star! Is there anything you can’t do? Compliments. They feed our ego and disarm us, we take off a few layers when strangers give us praise.(Ephesians 6:11) Our flesh is fed and we feel good about ourselves. Jesus teaches us a valuable lesson about ego. Pay attention to your mood the next time a stranger or even a friend showers you with compliments; if your mind is awaiting instruction or goes blank, you are disarmed.
Luke 20:21 Jesus was prepared for these spies. Their way of gaining ground with Him is something we all do. We want to break the ice through compliments, make the other person relax, and have their ego at our command. However, in this instance the spies were attempting to provoke Jesus to blaspheme, to ensnare Him in front of His followers. Compliments aside Jesus, knew what they were up to. Luke 20:24 Jesus asked those that were trying to trap Him, whose image was on the denarius. The duality and depth of this question leads to a more profound understanding. If Caesar’s image was on the money then it belonged to him and the people were to give the government what it was due through taxes. As believers we accept that God created everything and we as humans are made in His image. Genesis 1:27 We belong to God and are to give Him what He is due; which is reverence, devotion, worship, adoration, and obedient living. Jesus left the spies confused because they could not argue with His point. Even though they failed to see the heart of His answer, we as His disciples understand the truth Jesus left for us.
- Where does your mind go when you give or receive compliments? Is there an ulterior motive? (Or the opposite; do you seek compliments by being self-deprecating so that others will pity you? If so, is there an ulterior motive?)
- Who do you believe Jesus to be?
- Who are the religious leaders in your life?
A Few Points:
- Luke 20:1-8 The religious leaders challenge Jesus’ authority. The chief priests and the elders are confronting Jesus asking, by whose authority was He doing these things. (Luke 19:45-48) Clearing the temple of the merchandise was financially devastating to the Roman government. If the people continued to follow Jesus’ ways the Roman government would suffer a loss and would take more control over the Jews. The religious teachers wanted to hang on to what little power they had left. Jesus posed a threat to them.
- Luke 20:9-19 Jesus tells the parable of the wicked vine-growers. God planted the vine-yard for us as humans to care for. He created everything for us before He created us. We can live, being fully provided for because of God’s forethought and foreknowledge of what we would need to survive in this atmosphere. The prophets and priests were sent to turn people away from their sin and to repentance. They were cast out and treated shamefully. God’s Son Jesus was sent to again call the children of Israel into repentance but while some accepted Him the leaders did not. This caused conflict within the hearts of man and confusion as to what should be done. Jesus came as our salvation to die for our sins. The religious leaders did not recognize this truth. We are to recognize the redeeming blood shed on the cross for our sins. Repent and turn toward God.
- Luke 20:20-26 The religious leaders question Jesus about paying taxes.
- Luke 20:27-40 Religious leaders question Jesus about the resurrection. Some of the leaders did not believe in being resurrected. They asked a question meant to trap Jesus again but were left wringing their hands and defeated. Jesus proclaimed that God is a living God.
- Luke 20:41-44 The religious leaders cannot answer Jesus’ question. The Pharisees and Sadducees we completely stumped by Jesus’ reasoning and could not rebuke any of what He said because it was true. King David knew that the Son of Man would be both divine and human. This understanding was lost on these religious leaders.
- Luke 20:45-47 Jesus warns against the religious leaders. These leaders who valued their position, took advantage of the poor and even cheated people in order to get ahead. The arrogant people who appear Holy but inside they are selfish and keep their resources to themselves. Jesus revealed the religious leaders hearts and for the moment the people were unhappy with their leaders.
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