Friday 05 February 2021

Bible Book:

], the Pharisees and the lawyers rejected God’s purpose for themselves. (v. 30)

Luke 7: 24-30 Friday 5 February 2021

Psalm 73:1-14


In our Bible reading today, Jesus has just been talking to some of John’s disciples. John had requested them to ask Jesus if he was the one John had anticipated would come after him – the Messiah. John’s disciples have now left to report back to John, who has been imprisoned by King Herod (Luke 3:20).

Jesus now asks some questions of his own followers about John. Jesus’ way of asking questions is one that is not looking for taught answers, but is an invitation to make people examine and question their own experience to find answers. How does anyone know if Jesus is the genuine Messiah? Jesus’ indirect answer to John’s disciples was to point to stories of ordinary people’s changed lives: healings, exorcisms, a child raised from the dead.

Then Jesus turns to his own followers. What drew them to go into the wilderness to hear the teachings of John? ‘A reed shaken by the wind’ and someone ‘dressed in soft robes’ might be referring to Herod, whose palace is beside reeds by the sea. He was a corrupt human despot with the trappings of power. The kingdom that the prophet John was pointing people towards and which Jesus is bringing into human view has a distinctly different character to the one that Herod presided over.

However much we know of God, part of us would still like a Messiah in our own human image: glorious and triumphant with all the trappings of a human leader and with ourselves in honourable positions. Wouldn’t it be great if we could have God’s kingdom and keep our egos intact? If we could have God’s kingdom on our own terms and managed by our ideas and power?

Jesus affirms the greatness of John and his work as a prophet. He is the greatest and the last of the prophetic tradition, which is ushering in the new era of God’s kingdom. Jesus quotes from Malachi 3:1 to show the honour given to John as the forerunner of the Messiah. Those who respond are included in God’s kingdom which includes despised rich tax collectors. But those, like the lawyers and pharisees, who claim to know and obey the minutiae of the letter of the law, by refusing John’s baptism have put themselves outside the reach of God’s kingdom and God’s purposes for themselves.

To Ponder:

  • As you look at your experience over the last few days is there an occasion when you allowed God’s kingdom to break in, even if it was not what you were expecting or if it was not to your liking?
  • What is your Achilles heel (weakness) that stops you letting God be God, and blinds you to God’s kingdom breaking in all around you?
  • What sort of conversation can you imagine taking place between John’s disciples and Jesus’s disciples, and what would Jesus say if he overheard it?
Previous Page Thursday 04 February 2021
Next Page Saturday 06 February 2021