35 Jesus was teaching in the temple courtyard. He asked, “Why do the teachers of the law say that the Messiah is the son of David? 36 The Holy Spirit spoke through David himself. David said, “ ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at my right hand until I put your enemies under your control.” ’ (Psalm 110:1) 37 David himself calls him ‘Lord.’ So how can he be David’s son?” The large crowd listened to Jesus with delight. 38 As he taught, he said, “Watch out for the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in long robes. They like to be greeted with respect in the market. 39 They love to have the most important seats in the synagogues. They also love to have the places of honor at dinners. 40 They take over the houses of widows. They say long prayers to show off. God will punish these men very much.”
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. 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 that He 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