Thursday, March 8, 2012

Mar 8: Luke 20

Today's reading in our daily plan is Luke 20. Take a moment to pray, asking God to speak to you from this passage. Then read, using the following notes and questions to help you get everything out of the passage.

SAY WHAT? (What is the passage saying?)

  • After entering Jerusalem, Jesus goes to the Temple and confronts the religious leaders on their turf. There are two groups who hate each other but team up in an attempt to get Jesus in trouble. They are Pharisees and Sadducees:
  • The Pharisees were the "teachers of the law” and gave people rules to live by so they would not break the ten commandments.
  • The Sadducees were wealthy priests, religious leaders, and their friends who wielded political power.
  • The Pharisees are the first to go on the offensive and challenge Jesus’ authority. The response they get is a question that they won’t answer for fear of losing their following. But Jesus answers for them by telling a parable that explains their hypocrisy. In this parable, the tenets represent the Pharisees, who are taking care of God’s vineyard. When God sends his son to reach those tenets they kill him, thinking that the vineyard will be theirs.
  • After this parable, the Pharisees and Sadducees decided to trick Jesus into speaking against the occupying Romans so he would be arrested. But Jesus points out their error in believing there is no life after death.
  • In triumph, Jesus states his authority when explaining from Psalm 110 that he is called “Lord” (which means "master"). As he finishes his declarations, Jesus takes a moment to teach his followers. He explains that, even though the teachers of the law have the right ideas about God, they are unwilling to obey him. Instead, they change their duty into a business and profit from those who want to know God.

SO WHAT? (What are the underlying principles?)

  • While we’re on earth, we have intimacy with spouses to help us love and know God. After we die, all intimacies will be with God. Jesus’ testers failed to realize that intimacy with God is of greater worth than money or power.

NOW WHAT? (How will you personally apply this passage?)

  • Do you ever find yourself caring more about money and influence than people? Are there any other desires that lead you to use people for your own benefit? Let’s commit to challenging our selfishness and growing in love for others.