Jesus looks directly at our heart.
14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus. 15 He said to them, ‘You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight.
16 ‘The Law and the Prophets were proclaimed until John. Since that time, the good news of the kingdom of God is being preached, and everyone is forcing their way into it. 17 It is easier for heaven and earth to disappear than for the least stroke of a pen to drop out of the Law.
18 ‘Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery, and the man who marries a divorced woman commits adultery.
We have just read Jesus statement that we cannot serve both God and money. There is no hesitation it is not a debate it is presented as an impossibility. The two cannot coexist in our service they are mutually exclusive.
The next verse, the start of this passage we read the word ‘Pharisee’. Surely, they are the ones who serve God. But no, we are told that ‘they loved money’. Therefore, putting it together they cannot be serving God as they are serving what they love their real master is money not God. They have submitted to its lure, instant gratification and general appeal.
I find Jesus’ directness sometimes thrilling and sometimes extremely scary. He does not mince words. He tells the Pharisees that they justify themselves in the eyes of men (this is like the shrewd manager he was justifying his own actions). But God sees through that as God sees the heart. This can chill me as I know my heart is not always worth looking at, even worse digging deep into and being seen by a perfect God. Yet I know that as a follower of Jesus when God looks to me, he now sees the heart of Jesus. He has taken my place.
Looking to Jesus we gain a radically different perspective then looking at religious people with all their form and trappings. This passage reflects a critical time of history and Jesus references this by saying that John was the end of the Law and the prophets. But since that time there is Jesus. This is the radical, different world where we have Jesus opening up the way for the Kingdom of God for forgiveness through him and not through our own efforts at meeting the requirements of the Law.
Head: God knows your heart.
Heart: Ponder this thought. Are there secret parts of your heart that you hold back for service of other gods?
Hands: Look now at your hands. God’s gift of our hands is one type of service we can do. Is there a service you can do today motivated by your love and thanks for what God has done for you in the provision of his son Jesus?
Prayer: LORD you know my heart. You see my heart. My inner being is all laid bare to you. My personal heart may not be pretty, it is not clean of its own accord but LORD I pray you may see Jesus in me. May I seek out the things you want my heart to serve and not the distractions of this world. AMEN.
A song to listen to: See the Man
Living Church – Creek Road