Thursday, August 17, 2017

Year 7, Day 229: Luke 20

Theological Commentary: Click Here

Luke 20 is all about the issue of certainty for me.  I’m not talking about certainty of salvation.  I’m talking about public certainty.  I’m talking about our witness to others.  I’m talking about how people look and see faith within our lives.

This whole chapter involves various groups coming to challenge the authority of Christ.  The first group to come forward challenges Jesus about His authority.  These are the temple leaders.  They are used to authority and being in the public eye.  Notice, however, that Jesus doesn’t even answer their question!  Instead, Jesus flips the table upon them and forces them to make a choice between divine authority and the public eye.  These leaders prove indecisive.  They have no public witness.  They aren’t willing to humble themselves by acknowledging spiritual truth; they aren’t willing to admit what they genuinely believe for fear of the crowd. They have no witness at all, and Jesus doesn’t acknowledge their question.

We should stand firm with what we believe in.  If we don’t, we have no witness.  If we don’t, we can’t ever find and fix our mistakes.

Next, we see the religious leaders ask Jesus about taxes.  They are once more trying to trap Jesus between religion and government.  Once more, they aren’t taking a stand.  Jesus doesn’t take one, either.  Jesus turns to them and basically says to honor God in God’s things and to honor government in the area that government governs.  He doesn’t force the division of God and government.  His witness is that God and government can govern their own areas of life.  Certainly, the areas of God are more significant.  Yet, this doesn’t mean that government should be cast away, either.  Jesus’ witness is not embracing one and casting out the other.  Jesus’ witness is to embrace each in their own arena.

Finally, we get the witness of the Sadducees.  I will say this about the Sadducees.  At least they are up front about their witness.  People knew that they didn’t believe in the resurrection.  When they ask this question, the trap is obvious.

The great part of Jesus’ response is that He actually honors the Sadducees in His response.  He doesn’t agree with them, but He at least gives them an opportunity to learn.  Jesus takes the opportunity to give a witness about the resurrection and its eternal perspective.  We don’t know what the Sadducees did with that and if any of them heard Jesus.  But Jesus gives them an opportunity because they at least owned their perspective.

As I said, we need to have a public witness.  The only time we ever hear other positions is when we are willing to lay our own witness out there.  The only time we can inspire others is when we lay ourselves out there.  When we hedge our bets and stay non-committal,  we only invite other people to do the same with us as we see here with Jesus.