“… WERE HANGING ON HIS WORDS”
What is our attitude of mind as we read God’s word? Are our minds “hanging” on what we read, most of all when they are the words of Jesus and his apostles? In the days of Ezekiel, “the word of the LORD” was what they did not want to hear, so they did not listen; already we have encountered this phrase 4 times! (Ch. 6v.3; 13 v.2; 16 v.35; 20 v.47)
It was quite a contrast in the days of Jesus – but the words of Jesus caused a division of opinion, some saying, “This really is the prophet’. Others said, ‘This is the Christ.’” [John 7 v.40.41] And of course the religious leaders rejected him because he was a challenge to their authority.
How meaningful is the scene created by the concluding words of todays’ ch.18 in Luke! Jesus had triumphantly entered Jerusalem and is “teaching daily in the Temple” and declares, “It is written, ‘My house shall be a house of prayer …” [v.46] He was quoting Isa. 56 v.7 where it says it will become “a house of prayer for all peoples.” May that day come soon and may we, by the grace of God, be made alive then. How many will not be! Next month we will read the remarkable vision that Ezekiel is given of the ultimate temple – and recorded in his final chapters.
Different reactions to the teaching of Jesus provide an extreme contrast. We read, “The chief priests and the scribes and the principal men of the people were seeking to destroy him.” [v.47] There have always been those who have sought to destroy those who truly believe God’s word and accept his Son as their Saviour: we see it today in parts of the Islamic world despite the fact that Islam acknowledges the Bible to be one of its’ holy books.
The verse in Luke today tells us that his opponents “did not find anything that they could do” – why – “for all the people were hanging on his words.” It seems ironic that at least some of them would be stirred up by their leaders to reject him and that very soon they would hang him on a cross – such is human nature! Let us make sure that we are so committed that we are “hanging on his words” as we read them - and those his Father inspired his disciples, the prophets, Moses and others to write. May we all, as we read them day by day, see more and more clearly the wonder of spiritual “light” that shines in the gross darkness swamping the minds of people today.