Daily Reflection – 10/25/19
Jesus said to the crowds, “When you see a cloud rising in the west you say immediately that it is going to rain — and so it does; and when you notice that the wind is blowing from the south you say that it is going to be hot — and so it is. You hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky; why do you not know how to interpret the present time? Why do you not judge for yourselves what is right? If you are to go with your opponent before a magistrate, make an effort to settle the matter on the way; otherwise your opponent will turn you over to the judge, and the judge hand you over to the constable, and the constable throw you into prison. I say to you; you will not be released until you have paid the last penny.” (Luke 12:54-59)
Put most simply, Jesus asks how we can know so much yet miss what is essential.
At this point in the story, Jesus has just admitted the stress he’s under as the one who bears the kingdom message that sets even family members at odds. He’s on his way to Jerusalem to meet the cross. And as he travels he meets more resistance and his message grows only more insistent, even desperate.
And so he wonders how we – his audience than and now – can know so much but miss what’s essential. The examples he uses are taken from the everyday. We see clouds and prepare for rain; we sense the south wind blowing and expect heat. Why then, do we miss what he is trying to tell us about love – about God’s love for all of us and the invitation and command to love each other in response?
Instead of embracing and sharing God’s love, we take each other to court rather than treating each other with respect. Or talk behind each other’s backs rather than guard each other’s reputation. Or grow jealous of another’s accomplishments or possessions rather than give thanks for all the good things in our lives.
Here’s the thing: we do, way more often than not, know what is right, but fail to do it. The reason? Out of our insecurity and fear we end up trusting ourselves rather than each other or even God. And believe me, the culture we live in will only amplify our anxieties and encourage us to look out for ourselves all the more.
Perhaps the challenge today is accepting His teachings in our life. There are a growing number of Christians who ‘profess their faith in Jesus’ but find convenient and clever arguments not to keep His word; the two are inseparable.
Unfortunately, ‘buffet Christianity’ is the order of the day as we pick and choose what we like and discard or ignore those that we construe as being inconvenient to our way of life. Yet the moral compass of our hearts can gauge the coming storm of judgment. Like the Jews, we too are clever enough to read the signs of the times though we may choose to ignore them. Jesus exhorted the Jews to change their hearts as He exhorts us to do the same today.
Because when we do, we see God’s love for us and all the world poured out. Because this same Jesus – frustrated, exasperated, desperate to get through to us – this same Jesus will soon embrace his destiny and show us in his own body just how much God loves us.
Prayer of The Day
Lord, change my heart and my life that I may fully live for you. Help me to choose what is right and to turn away from every sin and from every attachment to worldliness which keeps me from loving and serving you wholeheartedly.”
Jesus used a vivid illustration to point out the urgency of getting right with God. If you were up against a bad cause and were likely to get severely penalized, would you not try to settle the case out-of-court to avoid a worse penalty? Each of us stands in constant need of God’s love and mercy. His light reveals what is in our hearts and his grace frees us from the tyranny of sin. God’s call is urgent and his grace is available for complete transformation in Christ. Are you ready for his grace and action in your life?