Advent Devotionals: Day 5

Jesus v. Religious Leaders

Luke 20:1-8

"One day as Jesus was teaching the people in the temple courts and proclaiming the good news, the chief priests and the teachers of the law, together with the elders, came up to him. "Tell us by what authority you are doing these things," they said. "Who gave you this authority?" He replied, "I will also ask you a question. Tell me: John's baptism—was it from heaven, or of human origin ?" They discussed it among themselves and said, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will ask, 'Why didn't you believe him?' But if we say, 'Of human origin,' all the people will stone us, because they are persuaded that John was a prophet." So they answered, "We don't know where it was from." Jesus said, "Neither will tell you by what authority I am doing these things."

I love reading the stories when it's Jesus against the religious leaders. It's just like the TV shows where you know the good guy is going to win. So why watch it then?

Because you have got to see how the hero is going to outsmart the bad guys this time - that's the best part.

When I read this I get the same sense of excitement; what's Jesus going to say this time? The religious leaders were more concerned with the consequences of their answers than with the truth. They were trying to get Jesus to give them what they wanted instead of what they needed. This hits me really hard because we can do the exact same thing. We pray or read Scripture with an agenda. I pray for God to do things, but I make sure my prayer is phrased in just the right way to try and get God to give me what I want, just the way I want it. When it comes to reading my Bible I seek out the Scriptures that have the result I want and ignore the ones that go against my desires, or I will justify by saying that Scripture doesn't pertain to me or it's different now because I live in a different time.

It's very easy to point fingers at the religious leaders and be blown away at how blatantly they rebelled against Jesus or how blind they were to who Jesus was until we realize how easily we fall into the very same trap.

Prayer: Lord, You are my Creator, You are my Father and You are my Lord. You know me from the inside out. You love me like no other, and You know what is best for me even when I don't. Help me not to rebel against Your truth by replacing it with my own. Help me to trust You even when it doesn't make sense. Amen.
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