A Question of Attitudes
Father, You are the God of my times, my years, my days. I’m grateful that my times are in Your hands.
Read Matthew 16:1-12
Scripture taken from the THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION, NIV Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13).
People approached Jesus Christ with different attitudes. The Pharisees and Sadducees were skeptical and cynical, and he responded to them appropriately. Although he appeared to be speaking in code, no rabbi worth his salt would have had any problem understanding the clear alive-from-the-dead implication of the sign of Jonah he promised. He rebuked them, therefore, for failing to measure up to the lofty spiritual discernment to which they pretended. If the appearance of the sky in the evening gave them a sense of what kind of day lay ahead, then, surely, the sign of Jonah should speak to them of impending judgment.
His disciples had a special privilege not granted the rest of the people, not even the leaders (Luke 8:10). They had private tutoring on the meanings of his words. When he cautioned them to beware the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees, however, they could not rise above the mundane to grasp the spiritual inference of his words. Since they came to him with a teachable attitude, he could forgive them even when they put two and two together to make five! Patiently, he explained to them why they should not be concerned about bread to eat. The real problem came from the teaching of the leaders of the religious establishment.
Thank God for leaders who are faithful shepherds of the sheep, for teachers who teach what they have learned from the Scriptures as guided by the Holy Spirit. Fortunately, even then, we do not have to take their word for it. After all, our leaders, being human, are fallible. We too have ready access to the Father–and we can always follow the example of the Bereans who checked the Scriptures for themselves in order to confirm that what they were taught was indeed the Word of God (Acts 17:10-11).
What are the issues of particular concern for which your church leaders are having to make important decisions? What is your responsibility before the Lord on these matters?
Sovereign Lord, I think of my pastor and church leaders in their responsibility to the congregation. Guide and watch over their teachings. Keep them centered on the great truths of the Gospel.