It appears Jesus would intentionally ignore Jewish religious protocol to get a rise out of the establishment and then rebuke them.
This set of rebukes involved being godly and giving on the outside and selfish and stingy on the inside. Jesus’ argument is that we should be godly in appearance, action and heart! All in!
He criticizes leaders for both failing to be authentic disciples and keeping others from being authentic disciples.
Note strong words like marvel, woe, reproach, assail and hypocrite. These arguments are both public and emotional!
The reading ends with a plea to not fear (respect) people in high places but to fear God alone…who incidentally loves us more than we can imagine!
Jesus’ teachings continue today and bring up many questions.
Clearly Jesus calls for us not to be ashamed of him…lest he be ashamed of us.
Can you recall a time you were ashamed of Jesus?
What do you think is blasphemy of the Holy Spirit?
Has the Holy Spirit ever put “just the right words in your mouth?” When or where?
Jesus next warns against greed and seeking security in places other than God. Jesus tells us not to worry because that is what unbelievers do. Worry is a sin caused by a lack of faith that God can/will provide for us.
Do you struggle with worry? Why or why not?
We are told in 6:33 that if we put God first, all our other needs will be cared for. In fact, we are challenged to test God’s provision for us! For a heart free from greed and worry reflects a heart right with God.
A girded waist was not something men did at leisure; it was to tie up your garment to work or fight. Oil lamps required much attention to keep them burning. Those the master found vigilant would be served by the master himself and given greater responsibility and honor!
Main themes include:
1) Keep watch
2) You are responsible for what you know
3) Punishment awaits those not ready
The comments on division are descriptions of reality; not of ideals. Certainly the Christian message has caused much division; even among its adherents.
Finally, Jesus condemns the hypocrisy of those who pay attention to minor things like the weather but ignore major things like the master’s return.
Big idea: Jesus will return. Be ready. Live ready. Leave nothing undone for you do not know the hour!
If Jesus would return tomorrow evening, how might you spend your morning and afternoon?