Scripture: Matthew 23; Luke 20-21. Click here to view full scripture.
Observation: What was going on in the Bible at this time?
As we read through the Books of Matthew and Luke, we learn about Jesus’ warning against the religious leaders and Jesus condemning them, Jesus grieving over Jerusalem again, religious leaders challenging Jesus’ authority and question him about paying taxes and about the resurrection, a poor widow giving everything she has, Jesus talking about the future and telling about his return, and Jesus telling others about remaining watchful. Follow along as we read Matthew 23 and Luke 20-21!
Application: How can we apply this to our lives?
Jesus called the religious leaders “hypocrites.” We must make sure that our actions always match our beliefs. God wants us to serve others. Jesus came as a servant, and he loved and helped people on earth. We must give ourselves to helping God and others around us. God knows our needs better than anyone else. When we turn to Him, we will find that He helps and comforts us as no one else can. The leaders of the law sometimes cheated the poor and needy in order to get more benefits for themselves. God will one day punish people who use their positions of responsibility to cheat other people. When God gives us the resources, we must use them to help others and not just ourselves. Jesus promised that he would return one day to save his disciples, and his promises also apply to us today. God will send the Holy Spirit to guide us, protect us, and give us the words that we need in the difficult circumstances that we encounter in this life. This is the assurance that we need to give us the strength and courage to stand firm for Christ no matter what. Jesus will one day come back. We must live today as though he is coming back today, working faithfully at the duties that God has set in front of us, always being obedient and faithful to Him.
Prayer: What can we pray for in regards to these passages?
Heavenly Father, Thank You for the examples and stories that You have placed in Your Word for us to learn from. Thank You for the Books of Matthew and Luke, and the lessons that come from each chapter. Father, we know that we are sinners, and we ask for Your forgiveness. Please help us to always follow Your ways for us, obeying and praising You through all circumstances in our lives. Please help us to love and obey You wholeheartedly. Please help us to love our enemies and to forgive those who have hurt us, as well. Please be with those who have rejected You, and help them to return to You, Father, before judgement. Help us to treat others with kindness, and help us to show the same traits to others as You do, following Your example. Help us to trust in Your care and provision in each of our lives. Even though we do not always get what we want in life, we know that You know what is best for us. Please help us to draw near to You, and please protect us from giving in to the pressures of this fallen world. We want to live Godly lives. When we face struggles in this life, Father, please help us to call upon You. Help us also to be more compassionate toward others who are struggling in this evil world, as well. Help us to be Your hands and feet in this world, and guide us in the right paths for our lives. Help us to trust in Your timing for our lives, and help us not to grow impatient. We thank You for Your son Jesus who died to free us from the slavery of our sins. Thank You for the unique gifts and talents that You give to each one of us; help us to work in unity with others to accomplish Your plan. Thank You for the promise of one day living in eternity with You. Please guide and protect us, our friends, families, pets, and our brothers and sisters around the world who are suffering. We love You and thank You for everything. – in Jesus’ name we pray, amen.