What Jesus Did! 'Greater Punishment' — Luke 20:45-47

Sunday, November 22, 2015

All the people listened to Jesus. Jesus said to his followers, "Be careful of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around wearing clothes that look important. And they love for people to show respect to them in the market places. They love to get the most important seats in the synagogues. And they love to get the most important seats at the feasts. But they are mean to widows and steal their homes. Then they try to make themselves look good by saying long prayers. God will punish these people very much."
— Luke 20:45-47
Illustration of Luke 20:45-47 — "Be careful of the teachers of the law."

Key Thought

Three great sins are pronounced upon the religious leaders of Jesus' day: first, they are pretentious, loving to be recognized as important religious people; second, they cheat the helpless in society they are supposed to protect; and, third, they are hypocrites and try to cover this hypocrisy by seeming to be pious. Those of us who are so invested in living our faith passionately need to know that God is pleased with our passion. However, our Heavenly Father does not want us to make a big show of our religious zeal, especially when we find ways to justify living in contradiction to his revealed will for us in Scripture.

Today's Prayer

Father, may I never ever again be guilty of the Pharisees' sins! Forgive me, dear God, for those times when I've wanted to appear religious, but lived my life in hypocrisy and sin. Through your blessed and powerful Holy Spirit, conform me to be more like your Son each day. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Then Jesus said, "Why do people say that the Christ is the Son of David ? In the book of Psalms, David himself says: 'The Lord (God) said to my Lord (Christ): Sit by me at my right side, and I will put your enemies under your power. ' David calls the Christ 'Lord.' But the Christ is also the son of David. How can both these things be true?" All the people listened to Jesus. Jesus said to his followers, "Be careful of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around wearing clothes that look important. And they love for people to show respect to them in the market places. They love to get the most important seats in the synagogues. And they love to get the most important seats at the feasts. But they are mean to widows and steal their homes. Then they try to make themselves look good by saying long prayers. God will punish these people very much." Jesus saw some rich people putting their gifts for God into the temple money box. Then Jesus saw a poor widow. She put two small copper coins into the box. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth. This poor widow gave only two small coins. But she really gave more than all those rich people. The rich people have plenty; they gave only what they did not need. This woman is very poor. But she gave all she had. And she needed that money to help her live."

Luke 20:41-21:4

Related Scripture Readings

The Lord hates these six, no seven, things: eyes that show a man is proud, tongues that tells lies, hands that kill innocent people, hearts that plan bad things to do, feet that run to do evil things, a person who tells lies in court and says things that are not true, a person who starts arguments and causes fights between other people.

Proverbs 6:16-19

The kind of religion (worship) that God accepts is this: caring for orphans or widows who need help, and keeping yourself free from the world's {evil} influence. This is the kind of religion (worship) that God accepts as pure and good.

James 1:27

"I hate your holidays! I will not accept them! I don't enjoy your religious meetings! Even if you offer me burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them! I will not even look at the fat animals you give as fellowship offerings. Take your noisy songs away from here. I will not listen to the music from your harps. You should let fairness flow like water {through your country}. Let goodness flow like a stream that never becomes dry.

Amos 5:21-24

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.