35 While Jesus was teaching in the temple courts, he asked, “Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 David himself, speaking by the Holy Spirit, declared: “‘The Lord said to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your feet.”’ 37 David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ How then can he be his son?” The large crowd listened to him with delight. 38 As he taught, Jesus said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, 39 and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. 40 They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.”
Earlier in this chapter Jesus is being badgered by Pharisees, Sudducees and Scribes with questions, mainly designed to trap him. The Scribes – those who were responsible for teaching the law and opening the scriptures for the people – are the ones aimed at in these next passages. In the first passage, Jesus asks a question – which he doesn’t answer – ironically Ps110:1 which he quotes, is speaking about himself. And in the second passage Jesus is warning the crowd, who were loving listening to him, about appearances and false respect given to the Scribes.
Respect is the word that has jumped out at me in these passages. Respect is something given by others to us yet so easily lost. Jesus is giving us a very valuable lesson here. There will always be people who think better of themselves who think that they should have our respect, but as always, Jesus brings it back to our heart, it’s not what’s on the outside but what’s on the inside is what God ultimately looks for. Is what we do and who we are gaining God’s respect?
Dear Jesus, help me to not get caught up in what others may think of me or even to deceive myself into thinking more of myself .. but to be mindful of where my heart is at and what it looks like before you. Amen
Written by Suzie Hodgson