Week 3 - Day 2 - Luke

 The Passion of Christ in the Gospel of Luke

A Guide to Meditation and Prayer 

Day 2

Avoiding Hypocrisy

Who is the Messiah? 

 

Meditation on Scripture- Read Luke 20:41-47 and write your reflections in the workbook. Use the summary below for further reflection on the passage. Prayer- Use the Guide for Prayer. 

 

The first part of this reading is about the question of whose son is the Messiah? According to Old Testament prophecies, he would be the son of David, the king. Jesus however, asked the crowd a question. “If he is David’s son, how does David call him, ‘Lord?’” Jesus then quoted from Psalm 110, verse 1. This verse indicates two things. First, the authority of the Messiah is such that he sits at the right hand of God. 

 

Second, this verse from Psalm 110 indicates the nature of the reign of the Messiah. All his enemies will be brought low, like a footstool at his feet. The exact identity of the Messiah was hidden in the Old Testament until after Christ’s coming. This is one of the passages, however, that points to the fact that the Messiah would be divine, not merely human. 

 

Jesus then warned the people about one of the religious groups, the scribes. The gospel of Matthew, chapter 23, contains an extended section in which Jesus warns the people about the religious leaders. In both these sections, Jesus points to their hypocrisy. They love esteem by others and the comforts of the good life. In addition, they steal from those who have little, such as widows and they make long prayers. Jesus says that they will receive greater condemnation. 

 

Things to Consider – 

 

·     Jesus speaks in this passage about those who will receive “greater condemnation.” Do you think this means there will also be lesser condemnation? 

·     What do you think motivated the scribes of Jesus’ day? Was it greed? Or comfort? Or the esteem of others? Or self-righteousness? 

·     What does it mean to you that Christ sits at the right hand of God? How is this a good thing for God’s people? 

·     Philippians, chapter 2, talks about the authority of Christ, when it says that he is highly exalted and given a name above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord, to the glory of the Father. What do you think this means? 

·     What do you think was wrong with the long prayers of the scribes? 

·     How do you think God will put all the enemies of Christ at his feet? When do you think this might happen? 

·     Are there people and groups who are enemies of Christ today? Who comes to your mind? 

·     Do you have a greater problem making your prayers too long or too short? 

·     Where do you recognize a measure of hypocrisy in your life? 

 

Guide for Prayer – 

 

·     Close your eyes and take one full minute to calm your mind and gather your spirit. 

·     Thank God for sending, not just an angel to redeem us, but his very own Son. 

·     Thank God that through Christ, you have been made a child of God, not left as an enemy of God because of your disobedience. 

·     Thank God for the promise that he will have the ultimate victory over all his enemies, all evil, all that harms, and all that resists his will. If it seems appropriate, use the phrase from the Hallelujah Chorus, in your prayer: “And he will reign forever and ever.” 

·     In prayer, acknowledge Christ as Lord – of all creation, of nations, of history, of the future, of the present, of angels, of heaven, of the Last Judgment, of eternity, of all people. 

·     Acknowledge Christ as your Lord and King. Open your heart to Christ and ask him to remove any areas of hypocrisy. Ask Christ to reign in you. 

·     Acknowledge that Christ has your life in his hands. Ask him to keep you in his care.

·     Prayer to our Heavenly Father – O God, you are Lord over tyrants, dictators, and devils. May your kingdom come and your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.  

·     Martin Luther once said, “God does not care for much prayer but good prayer.” See if you can pray a good prayer that comes from your heart. 

·     Take some moments to offer your own prayers to God. Offer whatever prayers and praises seem appropriate.