Word searches were always a favorite vocabulary exercise for me as I learned how to spell. Sudoku has too many numbers, but I do love a good word search. All the words are hidden in plain sight, but it is hard to see them. God’s truth is often the same way: it is present, but we overlook it or have to learn to see it. Jesus talked about that a lot in Luke 13 with the Pharisees. They thought they knew the Old Testament front and back. Over time, they had even built up a list of extra rules to provide a buffer for all of God’s rules. And when Jesus came along, He ruffled a lot of feathers by messing up their system.
Jesus was more concerned with people and the state of their hearts rather than doing the “right” actions. This chapter starts out with a somber warning: don’t think that just because other people get in trouble that you are automatically off the hook. It may be only a matter of time, God giving you a little more room to repent.
Jesus shone some harsh light on the Pharisees’ assumptions. They were concerned about keeping the Sabbath “holy,” but had the wrong definition. They thought that God’s command to not work included Jesus’ healing ministry. Jesus pointed out that His work was a triumph of God’s power over Satan, releasing a daughter of Abraham from bondage. The Sabbath only added a little more ceremony.
Jesus warned that the way to heaven was through a narrow door. It was not a place to be following the crowd. You had to look hard to see past the glittering gate society was illuminating. This is another warning to the Jews so that they would not grow complacent. Some of them would be outside while Gentiles were invited in to the feast.
The Pharisees and the Jews in general were comfortable in the normal routines they had established for religion. Are we doing the same? Are the lessons we accept and practice Bible truth or doctrines of approved interpretations of the Bible? Where are we comfortable that Jesus is trying to call us out?
God, please help me to see Your truth better in my life, and the places where I need to change my mindset. Thank You for directing us to truth. Amen.