A man had a strange dream in which an angel took him to a Sunday worship. The organist played; the keys went up and down; but nothing was heard. The people’s mouths opened but no sound came out. The man asked the angel why he couldn’t hear anything. “Because there is nothing to hear; lots of activity but no worship here.” How much of your heart do you put into your worship?
Washing before eating was not just a matter of cleanliness but also a matter of religious ritual. Jesus did not object to the ritual what he objected to was the attitude that made the ritual more important than helping the needy. What sort of balance do you keep between worship and service to others?
God sent Jonah to the people of Nineveh who responded to his preaching and repented. God sent Jesus to Israel but they were not as responsive. That’s why Jesus tells His hearers that the people of Nineveh will stand up and accuse them on Judgment Day. How responsive are we to Jesus’ call to repentance? What steps do we take to keep from falling back into sin?
Gratitude to God is something in short supply in the world today. Have you ever taken a look at how you express your gratitude to God? Do you give Him thanks and praise first of all because of who He is? And then, for what he does? Jesus came to minister to others. One way to express our thanks is to show our gratitude by our service to others.
In response to the woman’s praise, Jesus shifts Mary’s role as mother to her role as disciple. Mary has listened to God’s word and acted upon it. Thus, we disciples, need to do the same: listen and do God’s will.
While Jesus was casting out demons, some believed He got His power from the devil. Jesus retorts that it is by “the finger of God” that He casts them out. Some were so blinded that they could not see what Jesus was doing. Jesus uses two images:a divided kingdom and a fallen household. In other words, strife from within can bring ruin. What about the divisions in our country? What about the strife within each of us?
Again, a familiar theme from Luke, prayer. We hear a couple of parables that illustrate the certainty that God hears our prayers. They also stress that we need to persevere in our prayers. The good, heavenly Father will give us what we need without deception, and, moreover, the gift of the Holy Spirit.