Fifth Week of Lent – Thursday
April 11, 2019
From Presbyterian Outlook Devotions, Jill Duffield, Editor
37 While he was speaking, a Pharisee invited him to dine with him; so he went in and took his place at the table. 38 The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not first wash before dinner. 39 Then the Lord said to him, "Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You fools! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41 So give for alms those things that are within; and see, everything will be clean for you. 42 "But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of God; it is these you ought to have practiced, without neglecting the others. 43 Woe to you Pharisees! For you love to have the seat of honor in the synagogues and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces. 44 Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without realizing it."
What truly matters? That’s the question at the heart of this dinnertime exchange with the Pharisees. Is it more important to look good or be good? Critical to appear righteous or live with integrity? When you examine your life, what does it tell you about what matters most to you? Do your priorities match those of Jesus?
Gracious God, we rejoice in your goodness, your never-failing kindness, your consistent character of mercy and grace. We pray that our values and priorities match not just our words but your Word. We seek not so much to appear righteous to others, but to act in ways that reveal a purity of heart that desires only your will. Amen.