Luke 7.28-30 – Repentance
Posted: 23 August 2010 in Luke

For I say unto you, Among those that are born of women there is not a greater prophet than John the Baptist: but he that is least in the kingdom of God is greater than he. And all the people that heard him, and the publicans, justified God, being baptized with the baptism of John. But the Pharisees and lawyers rejected the counsel of God against themselves, being not baptized of him.

That the materially and spiritually poor tend to be open to God, in a way that the secure and self-righteous are not, is a motif which recurs throughout the New Testament. In terms of human psychology, it is not hard to understand why that should be so.

There are two kinds of false security which can separate us from God. One kind of false security is characterised by self righteousness. Here people feel sure that they have led morally impeccable lives. They have read the Bible regularly, attended church every Sunday, and have worked for the welfare of others. That such a lifestyle is laudable is not to be disputed, but it counts for nothing if it leads to the kind of self righteousness which separates us from God, and from any sense that we actually need God in our lives. After all, somebody with the above lifestyle might tell themselves that a just God will have no option, but to grant them entry into the heavenly realms come judgment day. They can have no further need of that God until the time comes for him to grant them their just rewards.

The other kind of false security is characterised by its contemptuous dismissal of anything beyond the material realm. Here people will have had great success in their career, they have two (expensive) cars in their garage, a large house, holidays in the world’s most exotic locations, and more than enough set aside for them to be sure a comfortable retirement. With so much material security, and the accompanying sense of being in control of their own destiny, what need have they of God and the Spirit which bloweth (them) where it will?

Finally, of course, there is the so called “Prosperity Gospel” which manages to combine both of the other two kinds of false security.

The poor, on the other hand, have no such illusions. They certainly have no reason to feel materially secure, and they are also unlikely to be esteemed as pillars of society. For them the news that they are nevertheless loved and by God is really good news, and placing their trust in God provides them with the only security available to them. This leads in the well known paradox that it is those without material wealth, and who are despised by society, who are the most blessed by God.

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1 Response to Luke 7.28-30 – Repentance
  • I like your post very much

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