This post is Day 29 in a series of studies about “Surprises”. I strongly suggest you begin with the introduction to this study, please click here to read it.
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Surprises – Day 29
Many of us are brought up in a stable family situation where things are always done the same way. It is often a shock to find that that is not the only way of doing something. As adults we are still surprised that others do not have the same habits.
When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited Him to eat with Him; so He went in and reclined at table. But the Pharisee was surprised when he noticed that Jesus did not first wash before the meal.
How easy it is to be surprised when others don’t have the same habits as we do. Many of us are brought up in a stable family situation where things are always done the same way, and it is often a shock to find that that is not the only way of doing something. As adults we develop our own ways and are still surprised that others don’t have the same habits.
This unnamed Pharisee (a strict Jew), was surprised that Jesus didn’t follow the pharisaic custom of washing his hands before going to the table.
My guess is that Jesus was intending to cause this reaction. There are times when He seems to have enjoyed making people think! In this case, He knew what the Pharisee was thinking, and went on to use the opportunity to preach a harsh message about habits and rituals.
When our children are small we have to have regular habits, and washing hands before a meal is a good one, like cleaning teeth after a meal, or before going to bed. But some habits we have are just because “that’s the way we’ve always done it!”
Read Luke 11:37-53 and challenge yourself about the things you do because of habit. Reflect on whether all your habitual actions are profitable for you and those around you.
Thank God for the good habits He has helped you form (Prayer or Bible Reading for example)!
Ask Jesus to accompany you into situations which make you question your personal habits. Be prepared to be surprised by Him as He helps you think about everyday activities.
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