There is a theme in this chapter. It begins with a story about a widow who obtained justice from a hard-hearted judge not because she had power and influence but just because she was persistent.
After today’s story of two men going to pray with very different attitudes, Jesus blesses children who were being shooed away and says that His followers need to receive the Kingdom of God like them.
A rich religious leader comes to Jesus for eternal life with a clean record and good standing, but goes away sad because when it becomes clear he values his wealth more than God.
The God of the universe then says that He Himself is going to be mocked and killed by the powers of the world.
The chapter closes with Jesus opening the eyes of a blind beggar who simply asks Jesus to be able to see.
Do you see? God hears us because he loves us and we ask him – for justice, mercy, blessing for life. God can’t help us when we come thinking we have saved up enough “angel miles” and He owes us.
Jesus tells the Pharisees they are “so careful to clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are filthy.” (Luke 11:39) God is concerned for what is really going on in our hearts. What is going on on the outside may be a natural out-flowing of the heart. But if we’re proud of it, it may well be something to celebrate, but it is likely to be a smoke-screen.
Suggestions for prayer and praise
- Thank God that He loves you and accepts you as you are.
- Thank Him for the good things in your life.
- Ask Him to show you what you are hiding behind those things – and ask that He will have mercy.