Woe to you, scholars of the law! You have taken away the key of knowledge. 

So just how did these scholars of the law take away the “key of knowledge” (Luke 11:52)? If we look at the rest of this Gospel passage, we can get some clues.

Jesus accused these scribes of not embracing the kingdom that he preached—not “entering” it (see verse 52)—and of thereby preventing other people from embracing it as well. Their witness of hostility and opposition to Jesus made other people suspicious and kept them from following Jesus. What’s more, it’s possible that they openly kept people away by spreading false rumors about Jesus or threatening any who followed him with God’s judgment. We can also assume that their hypocrisy prevented people from seeing the true nature of God.

But just as these scribes took away the key of knowledge by their words and actions, we can pass on that key by our own Spirit-filled words and actions. One powerful way we can do this is by trying to treat everyone around us with the same love and respect that we have received from Jesus. Of course, our words can be effective at times, if we can find a way to talk about our relationship with the Lord without sounding pushy. But the words we speak will have a far greater effect if they are backed up by acts of love, generosity, mercy, and compassion. Because the truth is, the harder we push when we try to persuade people, the more we risk alienating them—or even misrepresenting the Lord.

As with everything else in the Christian life, sharing the key of knowledge starts with love—Christ’s love for you, which humbles you and teaches you to love the people around you. Begin with that, and you’ll find it easier to know when the Spirit is prompting you to share about your faith or your relationship with the Lord.

Jesus wants all of us to be his witnesses. He wants all of us to share the key to knowing him and loving him. Let’s take up that call.

“Lord, help me find a way to share the key of knowledge with everyone I meet today.”

Romans 3:21-30
Psalm 130:1-6
Luke 11:47-54


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