Just Just – Justification from the Wallet or From the Lord
Luke 16:13 No servant can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.”
Luke 16:14 ¶ The Pharisees, who were lovers of money, heard all these things, and they ridiculed him.
Luke 16:15 And he said to them, “You are those who justify yourselves before men, but God knows your hearts. For what is exalted among men is an abomination in the sight of God.
Luke 16:16 ¶ “The Law and the Prophets were until John; since then the good news of the kingdom of God is preached, and everyone forces his way into it.
Luke 16:17 But it is easier for heaven and earth to pass away than for one dot of the Law to become void.
Luke 16:18 ¶ “Everyone who divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery, and he who marries a woman divorced from her husband commits adultery.
It’s funny how this last little verse seems tacked on here. All of this teaching about money and then SURPRISE! some commentary on divorce.
Now wipe away all of those verse numbers and look at it again.
For one, Jesus it talking to the Pharisees who are ridiculing him. Luke gives a little color commentary about them that they are “lovers of money.” If you can’t serve God and money and in the next sentence you are lumped in the group that “loves money,” guess who you aren’t loving?
In their love for money and their hidden disdain for God, the Pharisees had some pretty easy terms of divorce. They weren’t as sick as some of the “temporary marriage” terms that some religions have setup in the world today, but they were still bad.
So to this group that is manipulating the Law to get rich and twisting Moses’ allowance of divorce so that they can marry the next hot thing to come along, Jesus says not one bit of the Law will pass away. If you think you are righteous because you obey God’s law, you’d better quit smashing it like Silly Putty. Admit your greed and repent!
Justifying ourselves before other people is worthless in the eyes of God. That’s what makes a great villain in the movies. The villain genuinely thought he or she was doing the right thing. Thanos was just ending hunger. Darth Vader was just bringing peace to the galaxy and ending the war. Doc Hopper 1 just wanted to sell frog legs. But they are still villains.
Just. Just. Just.
Loving God and being devoted to Him is the only way to have real justification. He alone knows our hearts and knows how much they hunger for mercy or demand their own self-righteousness. He is the rock that we can fall on or the rock that will fall on us.
His ways are so much better than anything we can get with money. And His justification. Oh my, His justification is so full of freedom.
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