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Friday, October 28, 2016

The Use of Flattery (Mark 12:14)

"They came to him and said, "Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are, but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth."

Flattery - excessive and insincere praise

The Pharisees use flattery to frame their entrapment. "Teacher, we know you are a man of integrity. You aren't swayed by men, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance to the truth." Then they proceed with their agenda of asking Jesus a "gotcha" question, which they specialize in. Jesus, in His infinite wisdom, answers their question without the use of flattery by simply asking them a question, "Why are you trying to trap me?"

Solomon warns people about the use of flattery:
  • Immoral women use flattery (Proverbs 6:24; 7:21)
  • "Do not associate with one who flatters with his lips" (Proverbs 20:19)
  • "A flattering mouth works ruin" (Proverbs 26:28)
  • Rebuke succeeds where flattery does not (Proverbs 28:23)
  • Flatterers set word-nets to catch others (Proverbs 29:5)
The Psalmist describes those who flatter with their tongue "For there is no faithfulness in their mouth; their inward part is destruction; their throat is an open tomb; they flatter with their tongue" (Psalm 5:9).

Flattery reveals a heart of manipulation and exploitation. Beware of using flattery to manipulate others AND beware of those who use flattery.

Questions for today's Chronological Bible reading:
Mark 11:27-33; Matthew 21:23-27; Luke 20:1-8
  • What does Jesus' answer to the question regarding his authority tell you about Jesus?
Matthew 21:28-32
  • What does this parable teach about obedience?
Mark 12:1-12; Matthew 21:33-46; Luke 20:9-19
  • Who do the following people in this parable represent?

Renters/tenants -
Servants -
Landowner -
Son -
  • What does this parable teach the people about what God has been doing all along throughout their history and how the people have consistently responded?
  • How do those who hear this parable respond to Jesus?
  • Who does Jesus promise will actually receive the kingdom of heaven?
Matthew 22:1-14
  • How does the king in this parable respond to his rejection by his own people?
  • What does this tell you about God?
  • Who do the servants represent? those invited represent? those who actually come represent?
  • What does the king's response to the man dressed inappropriately teach you about God? people?
Mark 12:13-17; Matthew 22:15-22; Luke 20:20-26
  • How do the Pharisees and Herodians approach Jesus?
  • What are they seeking to do?
  • How does Jesus respond?
  • What does this reveal to you about Jesus?
Turning truth into prayer
Ask the Lord to sensitize you to where you use flattery in your own speech.