In Luke 16, we are told that when Jesus uttered his famous verse (13) that we can’t serve God and be enslaved to money, the Pharisees scoffed at him. To this he replies, in verse 15, “You like to appear righteous in public, but God knows your hearts. What this world honors is detestable in the sight of God.”
There is a lot to think about in this simple set of verses. First and foremost, Jesus is telling us that God and Christ operate on a totally different level than the one that we do, and it is our hearts and souls that they know intimately and are most concerned about.
We can impress and even fool our fellow human beings in many circumstances, but there is no fooling Christ and God. They are well-acquainted with the deepest recesses of our hearts, and they know us better than we know our own selves.
So human esteem, while it may feel pleasing to us, is worthless to Christ and God. It is our souls that they are concerned about, and Jesus makes it clear in these verses that what the world holds in esteem is simply valueless in their eyes. Not only valueless, but detestable.
That is an incredibly strong word that Jesus uses, and it packs quite a wallop when one reads this verse. I think Jesus did this to really bring home to us the fact that human standards are simply worthless in the eyes of God and Christ, and that they want us to focus on the development of our souls, and growing in their likeness through channeling their over-awing unconditional love to others.
Salvation through Christ means not only repenting of our sins and asking forgiveness, but it also means obedience to Christ, and living our lives in accordance with his teachings of love for others. Christ and God care about the state of our souls, and this is what they want us to focus on, forsaking any attachment to human esteem.
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