“Jesus looked up and saw the rich putting their gifts into the offering box.”
Jesus was observant. As divine God who knew men’s hearts, he also could see the reality behind the act. But anyone could tell what was happening with offerings in the temple.
The Lord calls us to first judge our own acts and motivations. And to stop treating God as if he were a human being. He wants us to judge all things by his word, not by our ideas.
#votd #Luke #observation
“I begged your disciples to cast it out, but they could not do so.”
While Jesus was being transfigured (glorified), nine of the disciples apparently tried to glorify themselves rather than serve their Lord and help their fellow man. They failed to do the very thing Jesus had given them authority and power to do.
The world needs our message. We have been given the authority and power to teach. Will we fail?
#votd #Luke #gospel
“Nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing is secret that will not be made known.”
Why guard against hypocrisy, such as the Pharisees demonstrated? v. 1 Because it will all come to light in the future. Fear of man causes dissimulation, v. 4, but fear of God should lead to honesty and transparency, v. 5.
Human drama derives from secrets. (Read any novel.) Divine redemption occurs from revelation and knowledge. We move from one to the other by confession.
#votd #Luke #revelation
“For there is more to life than food, and more to the body than clothing.”
If only man would look beyond his bodily needs and desires! There is a soul to think of. There is eternity to prepare for.
A man told me he goes to the gym in order to lose weight so that he can drink every night at the bar. What a miserable life! But does the way I live have a higher goal?
#votd #Luke #more
“Then he said to them all, ‘If anyone wants to become my follower, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me.'”
Jesus was born in order to die for man’s redemption. If the cross was central to his experience, it is no less so for his followers. This applies to everyone (“all”).
Three things are necessary: say no to self, die to self and to sin, and do it daily. Only then can one follow him. If God is good all the time, we must do this all the time as well. Are you willing?
#votd #Luke #discipleship
“I tell you the truth, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”
Jesus taught the true life of subservience to God as the whole objective of divine creation and purpose. In order to enter that life, he also taught certain conditions or requirements apply. Childlike humility is one of them.
Humility that brings us into God’s circle must not presume to know better than the Lord how we must conduct ourselves, how we must worship him, how we must serve him and show others the path to him.
#votd #Luke #humility #kingdom-of-God
“He has been sent as a sign from God, but many will oppose him.”
Luke 2.34 NLT
NLT expands a compact phrase of the prophet Simeon to Mary when she and Joseph presented Jesus in the temple. Jesus pointed to the Father’s love and salvation. He would encounter great opposition.
“Towards Jesus Christ there can be no neutrality. We either surrender to him or are at war with him. And it is the tragedy of life that our pride often keeps us from making that surrender which leads to victory.” —Wm. Barclay, DSB
#votd #Luke #opposition
Some think that Luke has collected three separate sayings of Jesus in Lk 17.1-10, with little connection between them. That assumes much.
Jesus might well have said these three things in this order. Even if he did not, it also assumes that Luke is clumsy.
No such assumptions are needed. There can be seen a clear connection among the three points.
- The business of the kingdom is forgiveness of sin, 1-4. Don’t be a cause of sin, 1-2. Be a cause of forgiveness, 3-4.
- For that forgiving spirit, the apostles felt the need for a greater faith, 5-6. In one sense, Jesus anticipates Nike: Just do it. Faith is to be exercised. For it to grow it must be put into action.
- Duty in the kingdom deserves no special praise, 7-10, but it must be done. What is this duty? Again, seeking forgiveness for all.
#Luke #faith #forgiveness #duty
“The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’”
Perhaps impressed with the need for continued forgiveness, the Twelve ask for greater faith. The desire is a good one. It is an ancient desire, one that many feel today. Jesus gave a good reply, v. 6.
Am I waiting for greater faith in order to act? Perhaps I need to act now in order to have greater faith. Start now! Do your duty, vv. 7-10.
#votd #Luke #faith
“He was trying to get a look at Jesus, but being a short man he could not see over the crowd.”
Zacchaeus had a disadvantage that, in the middle of the crowd, left him unable to see Jesus when he came by. But the tax collector was undeterred. He refused to let his disadvantage keep him from his objective.
In our desire to see and know Jesus, we will face some disadvantage, of some sort. The issue is not the disadvantage, but whether we will allow it to discourage us in our objective.
#votd #Luke #seek
“And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do the same.”
The world works off the principle of give-as-you-get. Tit for tat. Eye for eye. Jesus teaches a higher principle: love your enemies, v. 35.
Does my emotion cause me to react in kind, or does the mind of Christ permit me to respond always with love?
#votd #Luke #love
“Now when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, ‘Lord, do you want us to call fire to come down from heaven and consume them?’”
The disciples had to learn how to deal with rejection. They wanted retaliation. Jesus continued to pursue his mission in Jerusalem.
Do you get sidetracked by rejection? How can you develop the laser focus of Jesus to complete your task of sharing the gospel?
#votd #Luke #rejection
“As the crowds were increasing, Jesus began to say, “This generation is a wicked generation; it looks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of Jonah.”
Jesus was concerned for numbers, as long as those numbers reflected true understanding of God’s will. Otherwise, he worked to pare the numbers down.
Does a concern to please others and fill seats dampen my enthusiasm for the truth and for helping people face their sins?
#votd #Luke #church-growth
“Someone asked him, ‘Lord, will only a few be saved?’ So he said to them, ‘Exert every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to.'”
Was it a kind concern for others that motivated the question posed to Jesus? The question seemed to expect a positive answer, based on previous teaching of his.
Jesus often did not answer questions with a direct reply. Here, he directs the person not to numbers, but to self. Make sure you are saved. It reminds one of John 21.21-23.
#votd #Luke #salvation
“He replied, ‘I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away’” Luke 19:26.
Other than a “wee little man” many may not know who Zacchaeus was. As a tax collector, Zacchaeus, in the normal practice of his profession, was a state-sanctioned thief who stole more money from his fellow Jews than Rome said he needed to collect. He was despised, yes, but he was a part of the 1%. A Have—in a sea of Have-Nots. Yet, he repented and was willing to give up his ill-gained worldly wealth for eternal riches. This prompts Jesus to tell the parable of the Ten Minas that ends with the one who had the most wealth and who invested it to present his master with an increase to be given the mina of the servant who had buried his. How unfair that seems from a worldly perspective, yet how often God turns our logic upside-down. To be strong, we must become weak. To gain our life, we must lose it. Rather than fighting our own battles, we must cease striving and know that He is God. In Jesus’ view, Zacchaeus was never richer than when he gave it all away.
Where is your treasure stored?
#devotional #treasure #Luke