When Jesus was invited to a meal, the whole neighborhood might come. The common people wanted to see and hear Jesus, a rabbi who was often in conflict with the Pharisees. When Jesus was invited to dine with a Pharisee, it was one part evening entertainment and one part religious instruction.
When Jesus came to dine at Simon’s house (Luke 7:36-50), word spread. A woman who is identified as “a sinner” comes to see Jesus. But she is not content with standing on the periphery, or peering in to get a fleeting glimpse. She moves through the crowd to the feet of the Savior. Weeping, she wipes the tears off his feet with her hair, kisses his feet, and pours over them expensive ointment.
The reaction by Simon was one of disgust and rejection. He rejects Jesus as a prophet because he certainly doesn’t know who is touching him for she is a sinner (Luke 7:39). Continue reading “A Sinner, the Savior, and Simon”
Likewise you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you (1 Peter 5:5, 6 ESV).
Pride and selfishness are the besetting sins of mankind. Always lurking nearby, ready with an enticing word that plays to our vanity and to our self-importance. Many have fallen victim to the siren song of self. Few find the strength to resist.
The answer to these sins is pure love exhibited in humility. Augustine is reported to have said, “Humility is the foundation of all the other virtues, hence, in the soul in which this virtue does not exist, there cannot be any other virtue except in mere appearance.” Continue reading “Humility now, exaltation later”
Here is, as they say on Facebook, an unpopular view.
I have noticed a fascinating trend with regard to Jesus’ second greatest command to “love your neighbor as yourself” (Matthew 22:39). What this statement says, many insist, is that we should love ourselves, because Jesus says we should.
This is an excellent example of concluding the exact opposite of what the Lord is trying to teach. Continue reading “Love yourself?”
Remember the old line about the aliens from space – you know, the ones in a flying saucer with green scales and antennae – where they arrive on our blue planet and ask that great philosophical question:
“Take me to your leader.”
So who would you take him to? The president of our country? A five star general? A captain of industry? Oprah? Continue reading “The way up is down”
“Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Matthew 4:7).
Following Jesus’ baptism, God said: “This is my beloved son” (Matthew 3:17). Immediately afterward, Jesus was taken to the wilderness to fast and be tested 40 days.
Satan tempted him there. His temptations all began with, “If you are the son of God…” He began with something that seemed perfectly reasonable: make stones into bread and feed yourself.
Men easily err when they think of what is perfectly reasonable to them, but fail to consult God. Why not turn stones to bread? He had the power. He had the opportunity. Continue reading “Logically right but spiritually wrong”
Scripture commands us to be humble but that doesn’t mean everyone is doing it properly. Let’s see how we’re hurting ourselves spiritually by misunderstanding what God intended.
Humility brings wisdom and honor (Proverbs 11:2; 18:12). It’s the foundation of all Christianity. Righteousness can’t occur without it. But how is humility being manifested in the lives of Christians? Continue reading “Dark side of humility”
Luke introduced the parable of the Pharisee and tax collector in Luke chapter 18 by writing, “And he also told this parable to some people who trusted in themselves that they were righteous and viewed others with contempt” (Luke 18:9 NASB). Continue reading “Pharisee and tax collector”
I think there are times when someone comes forward after a sermon that we think: “Oh he must be a sinner, he must have done something bad.”
Let me remind you that there are sinners who go forward … and there are sinners (that would be the rest of us) who do not.
In reality, who responds to the Gospel call? The spiritually sensitive, the soft- hearted, the ones who deeply desire to serve God better. Who does not come forward? Often the proud, the ones who fail to look in their own hearts, the ones who think they never make mistakes. Continue reading “When someone comes forward”