Scripture: Luke 11:37-52
Key verses: (42, 45)
42 “But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practiced, without neglecting the others. … 45 One of the lawyers answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us too.”
Reflection: I love that Jesus loves us. I really don’t like that Jesus calls out our less than faithful living. Jesus loved the disadvantaged–all those on the margins. Jesus also loved the rich, affluent leaders. To the marginalized Jesus brought hope and promise. To those at the top of that social system Jesus brought acceptance, but also challenge. Challenge, especially to those in positions of privilege, can feel like an insult.
As you can see from today’s passage there were influential people back then who took Jesus’ words as an insult, an affront to their identity as religious people. But I think Jesus was calling them to a more integrated life where what they said corresponded with what they did. That is the kind of life that gives life. That’s the kind of life that allows us to live out of the rich blessings God has given us. But we are inclined to ignore the weightier matters and pursue the inconsequential.
When the Apostle Paul talks about offering our bodies as a living sacrifice he is talking about offering our whole, integrated selves to God. We have a hard time doing that consistently. But the God who loves the whole world sent Jesus to show us that God’s love is for the disadvantaged and the advantaged, the poor and the rich. Whether God’s word to you today is comfort or challenge, it is for you — a word of love.
Prayer: Comfort us, O God, when we need your love. Challenge us, O God, when you need all of us. In things small and great may we honor you! In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
Author: Von Clemans
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].