It amazes me how you can read the familiar teachings of Jesus over & over again & something new just stands out at you. The parables we read today I had heard many times over & had various verses underlined in my bible & yet some completely thoughts stood out to me.
Luke 16:14 –
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this & were sneering at Jesus.
This verse is preceded by Jesus’ teaching that you cannot serve both God & money. The Pharisees were considered very religious, but they loved money, so they took exception to this teaching. That's not how it works & yet how easy it is to have a similar attitude. To read portions of the bible & make excuses as to why I'm the exception or spend more time applying them to someone else than our own lives. Every teaching is in the bible for a reason & no one person is exempt from any of them. Along with that, none of them are any less important than the other. It is easy to excuse ourself with the attitude that I can still be a Christian even if I do this, it's really no big deal. (Disclaimer: I'm not saying that our Christianity comes into question with every choice we make, I'm just trying to express a thought 😉)
Luke 17:9-10 –
Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’
When we have obeyed God or served him in any capacity, we should not look for recognition or acknowledgment, but know that we have only done our duty & rather consider it a privilege to have had the honour of serving God. Obedience isn't something we do for extra credit, it's our duty.
Luke 17:30-33 –
It will be just like this on the day the son of man is revealed. On that day no one who is on the roof of his house, with his goods inside, should go down to get them. Likewise, no one in the field should go back for anything. Remember Lot’s wife! Whoever tries to keep his life will lose it, & whoever loses his life will preserve it.
How much of our identity is in what we have accomplished on this earth, in what “wealth” we have accumulated. What really hit me were the words “remember Lot’s wife.” Remember Lot’s wife? She lost her life for looking back. We are not told that she turned around or hesitated & took a few steps back; she looked back, that's it. Do I hold value to anything on this earth that would cause me even a moments hesitation when God returns four men? If so, I have to let it go. Maybe a sobering thought, definitely a reality check.
John 11:35 –
Everyone knows this verse, the shortest one in the bible. What struck me today is what is all shown to us in these two words. “Jesus wept.” Jesus was on this earth & felt all the emotions we go through. He could identify with the others in their pain & heartache & went through it with them, just as he will understand everything we face. When we need comfort, a shoulder to cry on, or maybe even someone to “wrestle it out with” (just as Mary & Martha questioned where he was & why he didn't come earlier), Jesus really understands.