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Now, we may not maim or kill other people, but we certainly have the ability to put ourselves before others.
Reference: v.35 “The tenants seized his servants; they beat one, killed another, and stoned a third.” (NIV Bible)
Explore: Last week we had a house inspection. I have been renting different houses over the last 10 years and so house inspections have just become a part of the routine of a lease. I must admit that this time I did not go crazy like I have done in the past. The house we are in at the moment is fairly new and if you exclude one bedroom where a fairly typical teenagers resides, the house was pretty neat already. In the lead up to the inspection I tidied a few things away and did the floors but that was about it. The real estate agent walked through every room in the house and then headed out the door. As I waved him off I thanked him for coming. He turned around and said, “No, thank you. It’s nice when inspections are as easy as this.” Now, as I mentioned before, I didn’t really go on a cleaning frenzy before he arrived – we even still had the vacuum cleaner laying out on the floor when the agent walked through – but he had classified our house as ‘easy’. It made me wonder, what kind of state do other people leave houses they are renting? Do people not respect property that is not their own?
Application: In this passage in Matthew we hear of tenants who are selfish, greedy and totally disrespectful of the owner. They harm and kill without great thought and their actions show an utterly selfish nature. These tenants wanted all the produce from the harvest for themselves, even when they did not own the land, and so they acted harshly for their own gain. Now, we may not maim or kill other people, but we certainly have the ability to put ourselves before others. We can find ourselves only focusing at how we can lift ourselves up and fail to see the impact we are having on the people we are pushing down. God’s command to us to Love Him and Love others is not repeated throughout the Bible to fill up page space. It’s repeated because He knows how difficult it is for us to constantly love without letting our selfish nature take over. And if we were all to follow those two commands, then surely the world would be a much better place.
Prayer: Lord, you have shown us a love that is so vast it’s incomprehensible. May we notice your love for us today and be willing to share it with those around us. Amen.
Sometimes people seem genuinely shocked by a respectful and loving action. Have someone every been shocked by an act of kindness you have shown? Do people these days just expect to be treated badly?