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)
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?
- What does this parable teach about obedience?
- Who do the following people in this parable represent?
- 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?
- 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?
- 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?
Ask the Lord to sensitize you to where you use flattery in your own speech.