And a lawyer stood up and put Him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” And He said to him, “What is written in the Law? How does it read to you?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbor as yourself.” And He said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this and you will live.” But wishing to justify himself, he said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?” Luke 10:25-29
For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7B
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father …. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve. Colossians 3:17; 23-24
Today's thoughts from today's verses:
For the rest of the week we will be looking at the passage that contains the story of the good Samaritan. Today’s Scripture is the portion that leads up to Jesus telling the story. It is an exchange between a lawyer and Jesus. Notice these words, “a lawyer stood up and put him to the test.” The test was in the question he asked, “What shall I do to inherit eternal life?” The lawyer doesn’t really want to know how to inherit eternal life. It is just a pretext for finding something in Jesus’ answer that would discredit him as a reputable teacher. This lawyer is a part of the leadership of the religious establishment that would like nothing more than to take Jesus down. Jesus is all about substance and they are all about appearance. Jesus is about true righteousness and they are about self-righteousness. Jesus is all about serving others and they are about serving themselves.
The lawyer and the other religious leaders know that somehow or another they are being exposed for the frauds they really are through the teaching ministry of Jesus. They were all set before Jesus arrived on the scene. They had their religious system within which they touted themselves as being at the head of the class and from their superior position they looked down their noses at everyone else. Their religious practice was not about loving God and others. It was about loving themselves as they circumvented God and despised others. And all the while they really believed they were right with God and actually living for him. Christians do precisely the same thing today with their Christian faith.
We need to let God check our hearts to see if we have fallen into this trap. How easy it is for us to get so terribly skewed in our approach to the Christian life that we appear to be lovingly serving God and others, while in reality we are just living within our own little religious system where we actually circumvent God and despise others. Spiritual superiority is a terrible thing. Jesus came to provide himself as an alternative to religious foolery. Jesus and the spiritual life he provides lifts us above appearance to substance, above self-righteousness to true righteousness, and above serving self to serving others. This is exactly what he does when we truly give him the center place in our lives. It is then that we will have a life that is truly lived in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Today's prayer response from today's thoughts:
Lord, lift me above myself and deliver me from religious foolery. I want everything I am and everything I do to be about you and for you. Thank you for my salvation and the gift of eternal life that is my inheritance as your true follower. I choose the life that you intend to be the outworking of my salvation. I choose heartily and lovingly to serve you and others throughout all my days here on earth. Amen!
Posted on Tue, March 17, 2020
by Ken Hart