As Jesus talks about interpreting the weather and going to court, he also is sharing a deeper message about our hearts and the world’s need for salvation.
54 He said to the crowd: “When you see a cloud rising in the west, immediately you say, ‘It’s going to rain,’ and it does. 55 And when the south wind blows, you say, ‘It’s going to be hot,’ and it is. 56 Hypocrites! You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?
57 “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled on the way, or your adversary may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.”
“You know how to interpret the appearance of the earth and the sky. How is it that you don’t know how to interpret this present time?” In the context of the passage, Jesus is pointing out to the Jewish people their lack of awareness that the prophecies of a messiah are being fulfilled right before their eyes, and yet they can’t see it. Salvation has arrived for them, but they cannot read the signs.
Though now we know that Jesus fulfilled the prophecy of the Old Testament and sacrificed himself so that we may have salvation from sin, this passage serves to remind us to focus on God’s plan for eternity. For me, it’s a reminder to take a step back and remember what is important in light of the kingdom of God. The world as we know it will not last forever. Constant news of the corruption and brokenness of his world is heartbreaking, but Jesus has given us a way to eternal life. Despite this, there are so many people who need to hear the gospel. This passage reminds me to pray that more people would open their hearts to God and answer his call. It also reminds me of the importance of telling people about my faith and how much it means.
The second part of this passage highlights the importance of repentance and being in a right relationship with God before it is too late. Jesus has made this possible for us, and it is a continuous process of growth in our relationship with God. The opportunity to have a relationship with our heavenly father is such a privilege, and something to be ever thankful for. The cost of our sin is impossible for us to pay for by our own strength. The product of our thankfulness should be respect for God’s commandments and a humbling of ourselves before him, but we continue to fail. Still, God in his love and grace continues to forgive us, so we don’t need to be afraid to ask his forgiveness, because this is how he has promised to redeem us.
Head: What is something we can learn from Jesus’ critique of the Jewish peoples’ blindness?
Heart: Is there anything in this passage that gives you comfort or assurance?
Hands: What is one practical thing you can do in response to this passage?
You are wise beyond my understanding, and gracious despite my constant failings. Thank you for sacrificing your son so that I could be in relationship with you. Thank you that the words of Jesus can still be applied to my life today. Please allow these words to change my heart, so that I may do your will with passion and joy. Please forgive me for my sins and help me to move forward in love as I spread the word of your grace and mercy to the world.
In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirt
A song to listen to: Gracious Redeemer
Stephanie Wiseman – Living Church Creek Road