Wednesday 31st July 2019 - Daily Reading:
Matthew 22:15-46 Testing Times - by Becky Brooks

After Jesus’ hard-hitting parables aimed at the religious leaders and those in Israel who had rejected him, what follows feels like a pile-on. First the Pharisees and then the Sadducees badger Jesus with questions that are purely designed to catch him out. They have no real interest in learning anything from Jesus – although they could have learned so much if they had just a tiny amount of humility – but they did hope to trick him into saying something incriminating.

Of course Jesus is not caught out. Of course he has the perfect answer for every devious question. Time and time again he proves himself to be exactly who he says he is and the result is that all who hear him are “amazed” and “astonished”.

In so many crime-based TV programmes, tricky lawyers will get a result in their case because they fluster the defendant so much that he breaks down in the witness stand and gives himself away. This seems to be the tactic the religious leaders were going for as they took turns to try to rattle Jesus. It doesn’t work, not only because Jesus is far wiser than they could even imagine, but also because he is completely pure. He will not breakdown and reveal his weaknesses and faults because he doesn’t have any. By the time Jesus has finished with them, they are the ones who slink away, not daring to ask him any more questions.

As you go out to share the Gospel, you might find yourself bombarded with tricky questions. How will you answer? Unlike Jesus, we are not filled with eternal wisdom, and neither are we blameless and pure . . . except through Jesus, and in Jesus, and with the Holy Spirit, we can be all of these things! We can walk out confidently to share the Gospel, even if we face opposition, wearing the righteousness that Jesus has purchased for us, and bringing the wisdom that the Holy Spirit teaches us. Make sure you are walking in the path that he has laid out for you, and he will be with you in every encounter.

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