Prepare to Listen. As you light the 1st purple candle hear the Lord saying to you: See, I am making all things new.
Prayerfully Read Luke 20:45-47, 21:5-8
2045In the hearing of all the people [Jesus] said to the disciples, 46‘Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love to be greeted with respect in the market-places, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honour at banquets. 47They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.’
215When some were speaking about the temple, how it was adorned with beautiful stones and gifts dedicated to God, [Jesus] said, 6‘As for these things that you see, the days will come when not one stone will be left upon another; all will be thrown down.’ 7They asked him, ‘Teacher, when will this be, and what will be the sign that this is about to take place?’ 8And he said, ‘Beware that you are not led astray; for many will come in my name and say, “I am he!” and, “The time is near!” Do not go after them.
Twice in these verses Jesus warns us: “Beware!” We must pay attention and order our lives accordingly so that we’re better prepared to greet the Savior this Christmas. First warning: “Beware of the scribes.” Scribes were the Bible teachers, the experts in the Law of Moses. Sadly, many were abusive, exploiting the vulnerable. Jesus described them in comic detail. They wore flashy clothes, expected respect both in the church service and in the shopping malls, demanded the best places to be seen by everyone. And that’s the good part! The bad is that they devoured widows’ houses, preying on grieving widows by offering long prayers for them if they were paid well. Perhaps you can think of a few present religious leaders like this. Beware of them, says Jesus, and avoid them.
Second warning: “Beware that you are not led astray.” In every era there are people who claim to be prophets who’ve heard from God about world events. Some even falsely claim to be the Messiah (Savior). And, in every era there are those who fail to heed Jesus’ warning and so are led astray. There were many prophets in 2020 who claimed God had spoken directly to them about the pandemic (it would fade away by Easter) and about the U.S. election (Trump would win). Many believed and followed their words. They were false prophets, dead wrong on both accounts. Beware that you’re not led astray, warned Jesus.
Name people or situations that you need to beware of today?
Respond to Jesus
Lord Jesus, give us wisdom to discern the true from the false, and the courage to follow you truly even when so many run after the false. Amen.
Live obediently. Stay alert and beware of the false.