Day 34: Obedience Shines (Luke 11:29–54)
Today’s Passage: Luke 11:29-54
It would be easy to make the point again that Jesus is not some shy and retiring cleric. No, he is deadly serious about the issues of the day. As he gets closer and closer to Jerusalem, closer and closer to the Cross, his intensity will increase.
Jesus is describing dark behavior. Jonah wanted the people of Nineveh to perish. Like Jonah, the Pharisees, with all their law-keeping, actually ignore the justice and mercy of God. In the text, it appears that Jesus is ranting at them. I don’t know if his voice is raised, but there is the repetition of the word “woe.” A lawyer expresses how Jesus is insulting them, and Jesus does not back down, but rather increases his pronouncement.
Why? Has he just had enough? Is he being mean? I think it is quite the opposite. I think his heart is breaking for them. He had offered amazing teaching and glorious miracles, yet they could not see Him or the Kingdom. I expect he knows they won’t get it, but he leaves no method untried, even explicitly telling them, just how wrong they are.
In the middle of this episode, in contrast to all the darkness, we are told to shine. To keep our eyes clear. I find the placement of this admonition providing me a caution.
The reflection just before this was about the spiritual life. The Pharisees and the Lawyers, this is the life they are seeking to live. Perhaps it is why Jesus says in verse 35 “Therefore be careful lest the light in you become darkness.” Hmm, the light in me. It is amazingly easy for people following Jesus to become religious in the worst possible way. I can easily adopt this persona. I was once told I was being smug. The words stung. What was harder was to ask myself, “Was I?” I think I shine best not when I am often right about theology, as to when, without looking at others. I am simply trying to follow him, obediently.