READ: Luke 20:1-19
THINK: Do you ever challenge those in authority over you, exploring their insight, testing their patience and pushing the boundaries of respect and acceptable behavior? It seems that a lot of people tolerate this kind of conduct–even expect it–especially from teens and young adults. But while there are times to question the powers that be, God doesn’t smile on irreverent behavior, particularly when it defies His authority. Though God is patient, He doesn’t have to prove himself to anyone. Yet, for those whose hearts are open to His Son, Jesus, His works speak for themselves. As people accept Jesus and entrust their lives to Him, God opens their eyes to the wonder of His works and enlightens their minds to the wisdom of His Word.
RESPOND: Why do you think the religious leaders questioned Jesus’ authority, and what did this reveal about them? (See 20:2 note.) Why do you think Jesus responded with a question of His own, never dignifying their question with a direct answer? How does the parable of the tenants describe how people through the ages have treated God’s prophets and eventually His Son? Who is “the stone the builders rejected”? How has that stone become a foundation? (See 20:18 note.) How do people stumble or “fall” over Jesus (v. 18), and in what way does this break them? Why are people often offended by Jesus? How will rejecting Jesus ultimately “crush” people?
PRAY: Pray for people you know who have rejected Jesus or are currently opposed to following Him. Pray that Jesus’ passion, power and purposes will become evident to them, particularly through your life and example. Pray that they will not find ultimate fulfillment or another foundation for their lives apart from Jesus.
ACT: Do something practical to show kindness and compassion, or to provide help and encouragement, to any of those you just prayed for. Let them see through your example that true authority, power and leadership in God’s kingdom is a matter of humility, service and honor to God.