Vs. 1, “One day Jesus was praying in a certain place. When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” What an encouraging sign to see the disciples wanting to grow! Jesus uses this request to teach them about prayer (vs. 1-13). If we give to a neighbor in need or a child who is hungry, how much more will God the Father give to us? We begin to see more tension rising up against Jesus from the Pharisees and teachers of the law as the rest of our chapter unfolds. After exorcising a demon from a mute man, Jesus is accused of being Beelzebub (name for Satan). However, Jesus aptly points out that He fixes what Satan tries to destroy. The vivid example of a demon who returns with seven more (vs. 24-26) is a stark reminder of how important a response is when God intervenes in our life. As the crowds increase, Jesus rebukes the crowd for their lack of repentance and juxtaposes them with the Queen of the South (Sheba) and the Ninevites who responded better to Solomon and Jonah (vs. 29-32). Jesus teaches us that lamp of our life is through our eyes (vs. 33-36), so we must be careful what we allow into our lives. And lastly, Jesus pulls no punches when it came to chastising the legalistic Pharisees and teachers of the law (vs. 37-54). Jesus’ rebuke addresses legalism, pride, and hypocrisy that had infiltrated their hearts.
Regarding application…What Are You Looking At? Vs. 34, “Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eyes are good, your whole body also is full of light. But when they are bad, your body also is full of darkness.” There is the saying, “You are what you eat.” Likewise, what we look at and focus on is going to affect the way we live this life. If we are looking at beauty, accomplishments, and money this will often steer us the wrong way. When I was 16 years old, I was more than happy to drive an old junky car. But as the years progressed, I began looking at what everyone else was driving. Eventually, I bought a brand new Mazda 3 and loved driving that car. But after a year, I sold it. I realized that having a brand new fancy car (at least for me) wasn’t what it was all cracked up to be. A car may be a trivial thing, but there are certainly things we tend to focus on that can adversely affect our lives. Take time today to consider what you are looking at and turn your gaze to what God is looking at!