Luke: Detestable Things

Read: Luke 16:14-18

Just a few verses this morning, a pause between two lessons on money, compels us to rethink our perspective on riches of this world. Luke begins by clarifying that the Pharisees have an unhealthy love of money and their reaction to His lesson on the shrewd manager causes them to “sneer” at Jesus.

I’m no biblical scholar, but with the click of a few buttons I was able to look at the word “sneering” in the NIV translation to discover that the Greek word, ekmyktērizō, to deride by turning up the nose, to sneer at, scoff at*, shows up twice in the Bible. Both times by Luke, once here, and the other time in Luke 23:35 as Jesus is being led to His death on the cross. I’m sure Luke carefully placed this word in this context.

The Pharisees are appalled at the teaching of Jesus to the point that they ridiculed Him.

But God knows your hearts. Luke 16:15b

Those who justify themselves for the glory of man have no place in leadership for Christ’s church. Stern words, perhaps, but can you imagine a sermon based on this key verse:

What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight. Luke 16:15c

I might change that to “What you value highly…” What we value is detestable to the Creator, The I Am. The Message version of the Bible provides a concise thought here:

So Jesus spoke to them: “You are masters at making yourselves look good in front of others, but God knows what’s behind the appearance. Luke 16:14-18

While this isn’t a lesson on marriage, Jesus uses divorce and adultery as prime examples to hammer the point home: we should be a people of integrity and we should have our priorities in order.

Lord, help us to run from detestable things that evoke such strong words of discipline from You. May we be people of integrity, different from the world, true in character, and full of love and compassion.



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