In my last post, Jesus concluded with a comment about finances. He said that you couldn’t serve both God and a desire for riches. The Pharisees heard it and continued in a state of denial.
The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.”
Luke 16:14-15 NIV
This section of Scripture shows just how hardhearted the Pharisees had become. By their actions, they clearly loved riches and power. When Jesus talks about the love of money, they openly ridicule Him.
They’ve gotten to the point where they’ve rejected Him and His teaching. Now, their goal is to publicly discredit the Lord.
As usual, Jesus brings their hypocrisy to the surface. He exposes the fact that they’re always justifying themselves before men. They had a great way of twisting Scripture to make them sound holy while doing evil.
What they seem to forget is that God is not like any human judge. He doesn’t give any credence to a fine sounding argument. The Lord looks straight at what’s going on in their hearts. That’s what He bases His verdict on.
We would do well to remember this. Humanity places a high importance on the temporary. That’s especially true when it comes to personal pleasure. In God’s eyes, it’s the unseen – the eternal – which is the most valuable.
Just how bad are these temporary things that we run after? This translation uses the word detestable. This is one of those words that the translators had to be careful with, knowing that the Bible will be read in church with the Sunday morning crowd.
This Greek word comes from a root that means to pass gas silently. That’s why Jesus felt the need to expose where this foul spiritual smell was coming from! That’s what God thinks about us when we chase after the world and try to justify it by Scripture.
“The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing his way into it.”
Luke 16:16 NIV
Jesus warns the Pharisees that they’re out of step with what God is doing. Until John the Baptist came on the scene, the Law and the Prophets were the main emphasis.
The Pharisees enjoyed that. Any good lawyer could get around the teachings of the Law of Moses. They knew all the loopholes.
Now, since the beginning of John’s ministry, it’s the kingdom of God that’s being focused on in anointed preaching. The kingdom doesn’t deal with laws, rules and loopholes. It looks at the hearts and minds of individuals.
You don’t enter the kingdom of God by well thought out arguments. You have to force your way in by overcoming the natural inclinations of the flesh.
A fire has to ignite in your soul. Another way to say this is that you need the conviction of the Holy Spirit. Then, in response to this work, you must accept Christ in total opposition to the desires of your sinful nature.
We need to realize that making a decision to ignore the flesh is an act of spiritual violence. Throughout our whole lives to that point, our body and soul were in complete agreement. Then, suddenly, the Holy Spirit plants a seed of dissension in this relationship.
Now, body and soul don’t totally agree. Eventually you came to the place where your soul made the choice to bow its knee to Christ. The flesh lost its place on the throne of your life. That’s a spiritual rebellion against the established order of your very being.
Praise God for His life changing power in your life. That’s what gave you the strength you needed to see this change through to its completion.
Question: How did the power of God change your life?
©2022 Nick Zaccardi