Who Are You Trying to Please?

Who Are You Trying to Please?

The other day I began working on the sermon for Sunday. Sermons don’t just fly out of my mouth. They take a lot of time, prayer, and preparation to get into the 20-25-minute discussion on Sunday mornings.

This week, I’m preaching on the story of the Shrewd or Dishonest Manager (depending on the description your translation uses) from Luke 16:1-13. It is the lectionary passage for Sunday. As I began preparing for the sermon, my eyes turned towards the follow-up story. The story is one where the Pharisees are having a little disagreement with what Jesus had said.

A group of Pharisees having a problem with Jesus? Now, where have I seen that before? Oh yeah, almost every time Jesus interacts with the crowd or offers a deeper interpretation of the Scriptures (when Jesus refers to the Scriptures, he is talking about what we call the Old Testament). The Pharisees go to Jesus and say, “Well, you can’t be talking about us.” Keep in mind, the previous story has a lot to do with how we treat and view money. What they are basically saying is, “We have no problem with money. Isn’t that right, Jesus.”

I’m intrigued by what Jesus says in response. He says, “You are those who justify yourselves in the sight of others; but God knows your hearts; for what is prized by human beings is an abomination in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:15b, NRSV) Continue reading “Who Are You Trying to Please?”