Luke and the Lost
For many years, we have fallen back on the way we live as an admission to Whom we serve and worship. “They will know we are Christians by our love”, right? However, worldview says to love, too. The world says to be kind…so you can get want you want. I just stayed at a lovely hotel for four days while at a training for my job. I was treated like I was important to them. They met my every need, sometimes before I even asked.
They always smiled while serving me and others who were there on vacation or for business. They asked how we were doing, listened to our responses, and then asked how they could help. These people were trained well in hospitality. I’ve always said, we, as servant leaders in God’s church could learn a lot from taking a course in hotel hospitality coupled with God’s Word to remind us of what God is asking us to be and do.
On the last morning of my stay, while waiting on my coteacher in the lobby, with bags packed ready to make the trip back to the airport, I sat and read over in the corner. I overheard conversations from hotel staff that were not of the same kind and loving attitude of the people who were smiling and helping earlier. The smiles were gone, the gossip of each other was flowing because of a disagreement in procedures. It was a slap in the face of who I thought they were. Made me sad.
Jesus told the people He was the Son of God many times, but the High Priests and Scholars, ask Him again, but not for reasons to worship Him and kneel before Him. They didn’t do the dirty work of betrayal themselves, but put men in charge of Jesus to make fun of Him, slap our Savior in the face, blindfold him and generally bully Him. Jesus knows all about betrayal, but this insulting injury is the precursor of the religious to be seen for who they really are. They have no relationship with God, the Father or His Son. They seek their power in making sure the rules are obeyed. They are out to get what they want, by any means.
Luke 22, The Message
Slapping Him Around
63-65 The men in charge of Jesus began poking fun at him, slapping him around. They put a blindfold on him and taunted, “Who hit you that time?” They were having a grand time with him.
66-67 When it was morning, the religious leaders of the people and the high priests and scholars all got together and brought him before their High Council. They said, “Are you the Messiah?”
67-69 He answered, “If I said yes, you wouldn’t believe me. If I asked what you meant by your question, you wouldn’t answer me. So here’s what I have to say: From here on the Son of Man takes his place at God’s right hand, the place of power.”
70 They all said, “So you admit your claim to be the Son of God?”
“You’re the ones who keep saying it,” he said.
71 But they had made up their minds, “Why do we need any more evidence? We’ve all heard him as good as say it himself.”
Jesus, the Son of God, brings them to admitting He is the Messiah, but they use this evidence against Him, because RULES trump RELATIONSHIP for those who wish to remain in power over people. The rule, one of the top rules, was that no one claims to be God…but God. They did not believe He was God. The biggest slap in the face of Jesus the Christ, Our long awaited Messiah and Lord.
Who are we, inside, before projecting outside? Do we smile, and say we love, but with conditions? Are we so busy obeying and following all the rules of graciousness and kindness without developing our relationships with God and each other? Are we continuing to “slap” Jesus in the face or at least, make Him sad with our actions towards each other, which is the same as toward Him according to His Word? These are all questions of self reflection this morning.
Dear Heavenly Father, I do not want to just be kind, politically correct and gracious just to “feel good” or get what I want, or for others to like me more. Those are unhealthy attitudes that destroy relationships. I repent of smiling on the outside while holding a grudge on the inside. Cleanse us, O Lord. Restore the joy of our salvation that kindles the fire of our gratitude of what You have done for us so that pure, living waters of unconditional love will flow from our hearts and spill into our actions. You love us, unconditionally. Help us to love each other in the exact same way, without thought of getting anything in return. I do not want to be a “slap in the face” of my relationship with You by my selfish actions. Yes, cleanse us of anything that offends You. In Jesus Name and by His power living in us, we pray. Amen. I believe.