You can download this week’s entire Daily Devotional in booklet form here.
Jesus followed up the back-and-forth with the religious leaders (11:27-33) with a parable teaching what was happening right then: God sent prophets to Israel calling them to repentance, yet Israel continually ignored/rejected them (vv. 1-5). God then sent his eternally begotten Son, but Israel would not only reject but kill him (vv. 6-8). God would thus judge that generation of Jews who rejected their Christ (vv. 9-11). This infuriated the religious leaders who thus sought to do exactly what Jesus just said they would do (v. 12; cf. v. 7).
The Pharisees and Herodians then tried to get Jesus to say he was either for or against Rome (vv. 13-15). Being “for” Rome would infuriate the Jews; being “against” Rome would be an act of treason. Either way their goal was his execution, but they failed (vv. 15-17). Then the “liberal” side of Israel’s religious leaders (v. 18) tried to get Jesus to speak against the Law (vv. 19-23), but they also failed (vv. 24-27).
One scribe, having heard Jesus’ answers to the Sadducees, asked Jesus which of God’s laws was most important (v. 28; Jewish traditionalists added 613 commands to “protect” the Law). Jesus’ answers (vv. 29-31) impressed the scribe (vv. 32-33). While the scribe agreed with Jesus, true faith is seen in a whole-life commitment and action, which Jesus said he yet needed (v. 34).
Jesus then proved from Scripture that he, the Messiah, while a human being was also eternal God (vv. 35-37). He also warned Israelites against their hypocritical religious leaders that God would judge (vv. 38-40; Matt 23 gives Jesus’ full warning).
These proud, self-righteous religious leaders flaunted their wealth and made a show of their giving, but Jesus pointed out that what matters in giving is the heart (vv. 41-44).
Truths to Nail Down and Apply
- Some right responses to God’s truth and agreement with it is not saving faith (vv. 28-34). There must be complete and total dependence and reliance on Jesus Christ.
- Jesus responded to attacks with wisdom—the correct and right application of Scriptural truth to different situations.
- Man may look at and be impressed by externals, but God looks at and knows the heart (vv. 41-44).