After a break to pursue some other devotional topics last year, I have returned to share my thoughts on Questions Jesus Asked from the Gospels. I will pick up where I left off…
Luke 12:57-59 – “Why don’t you judge for yourselves what is right? 58 As you are going with your adversary to the magistrate, try hard to be reconciled to him on the way, or he may drag you off to the judge, and the judge turn you over to the officer, and the officer throw you into prison. 59 I tell you, you will not get out until you have paid the last penny.” NIV
God has guidelines or commands in His Word and given each of us a conscience with the ability to judge between right and wrong or good or bad, but many of us like the limits spelled out specifically. Even then we tend to push and even exceed the limits. When we are caught in violation of these limits, we complain that we didn’t know or that someone else did the same thing without consequences, and life’s just not fair.
In Matthew’s Gospel Jesus is asked a question: (Matthew 22:36-40)
“Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” NIV
Jesus was instructing His followers to live by two guiding principles: love God and love others as you love yourself. In today’s question, Jesus tells His followers a specific way to live by these principles. Instead of trying to beat the system, sue someone, and clog up the judicial system, try to do what is right, come to agreement, and settle controversies as soon as possible. I’m sure that He would want us to use a little Holy Spirit guidance in the process. Admittedly, there may times when the court is necessary; but when this principle is used, generally life will be free from a lot less guilt and stress.
Some questions to consider: Are there areas in my life where I just do what I want to do without considering what is right? What kinds of rewards to I get from this behavior? What kinds of stresses has this caused in my life? What would it look like if I followed Jesus’ counsel to “consider what is right” before I acted?