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Highly Esteemed Things

Updated on March 27, 2020

Studying the bible is always good. For years, I have been studying the bible and I found it wonderful



And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (Luk 16:15)

Earlier on Jesus has been discussing with people making an illustration to them of what an unrighteous servant did to save himself from the wrath of his master. He thence encourages all to be faithful in that which is bestowed unto them so that when the time comes for them to possess that which is theirs’, they would possess it and would be able to effectively manage it.

The pharisees who were all ears when he was talking with his followers belittled his words and the bible says they derided him.

And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. (Luk 16:14)

Deride in the verse is a Greek word written as “ἐκμυκτερίζω”, the Romanized form of which is ekmukterizō (phonetic spelling is ek-mook-ter-id'-zo) which means sneer. Jesus was being mocked by those people for saying that.

In response to their mockery Luke said he uttered the word in Luke 16:15.

And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (Luk 16:15)

It is second line of the verse, that I will want to write on in this article which says that, for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (Luk 16:15)

Degree of Estimation

Jesus Christ in his reply shows the degree of the pharisees and people’s estimation of themselves and it would be seen that it is “very” high. The honor which they bequeath on themselves is not the low keyed one, the one that anyone can easily come by. This they do because they set standards for themselves.

That is why they could excommunicate people from the temple and the people fear them greatly, cannot look them in the eye and tell them what they are doing that is wrong. A case example was the story of the man born blind that Jesus healed in John chapter 9.

These words spake his parents, because they feared the Jews: for the Jews had agreed already, that if any man did confess that he was Christ, he should be put out of the synagogue. (Joh 9:22)

(A) What is the “Highly” Thing?

The highly esteemed things being talked about by Jesus here are those ephemeral things, the worldly things, things that people could see, physical things. We all know that from the time immemorial has man been valuing something that they can see that was what happened to the first woman, Eve, it was because of what she could see which the serpent presented to her, that which she could see which makes her to go against the law of the Lord and invited her hubby to do the same.

When the husband and wife, our fore parents did this, they were wounded, and the wound was a spiritual one which is being passed on to all humans in the world till date.

It is because we have been injured that is why Jesus came to the world to heal all mankind of this injury.

The Nature of The Injury: The nature of man’s injury was and is that our souls are not heavenly oriented again, our souls have been banished from the presence of God because of the sin, because God cannot behold iniquity. It is an open wound, which makes us restless because like open wounds that are always painful when it hits something suddenly and or when microbes and flies lie on it, so is our lives, we become restless because we are not contented with those things that we have on earth.

However, to receive peace of mind in this respect that is why God sends Jesus into the world to die for the sins of mankind and to bring us back to himself. In other words, Jesus was sent into the world to heal us of our wound which is spiritual in nature.

To receive this healing we must also admit that we have been injured and need to be healed. As people who is sick would approach medical personnel so ought we to approach God, how we are so that he will wash the sites of our wounds with his blood, apply the needful drugs (or ointments) there and dress the wound for us, then we shall be healed. This we will receive when we go to Jesus Christ.

The “highly” thing is the physical thing which the devil has sold to mankind from the beginning, that is why we do no value things that are spiritually inclined, and we promote and talk to the high heavens of things we are seeing.


(B) The Word “Esteemed”:

Esteem is defined as great respect and admiration.

And he said unto them, : for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (Luk 16:15)

The Greek word for esteem is “ὑψηλός”, Romanized form is hupsēlos (pronounced as hoop-say-los') which means lofty.

They are things that we as humans have great respect and admiration for. Hardly do we find people who have great respect for that thing which he cannot see. Jesus therefore is talking about the respect they have for things that could be seen, the achievements made that people become proud of.

Today we talk about the achievements and awards that Hollywood, Nollywood, Bollywood, and other stars in the world made, we celebrate politicians because of those things we can see them achieve and do, but hardly do we find people celebrating those people who are spiritually inclined. The spiritually inclined people are not celebrated because the things they do are hidden from the public spectacle.

Pastor Henry Ford, a retired Baptist Pastor of Blessed memory shared a story of a woman in her church whom the people do not value, the people do not celebrate her, because she has nothing, but who was the brain behind the progress of the church, because she was always on her knees for the pastor and the members of the church, apart from that she always visit the brethren, encourage them and give the needy out of the little she had. One day this man felt sick and couldn’t pray for the pastor as she used to be.

The pastor on getting to the church discovered that the spirit was not moving as the spirit used to move before, this continued throughout the week and into the second week.

Then he was disturbed and went to God in prayer to know what happened, he was told by God that his “power machine” is faulty, the person who usually pray for him and the church is sick.

He made further inquiry into it because according to him he never thought anyone was praying for him, he thought all he was achieving was by his power and prayers alone and even if anyone would be praying for him he has focused on some people in the church, but unknown to him that those people were not mindful of the spirit, all they were after was being esteemed in the church.

After this inquiry, he started searching his mind for the person who used to be regular in the church which he is not seeing and discover that it was that old woman. He went to her house and found her on sick bed.

The woman was not esteemed because she did not put much money in the offering bag, because she was relatively unknown by people, but the Lord knows her labor of love in his vineyard.

That is what Jesus is talking about, we esteem things that we can see, and barely esteem things that are spiritual.


(C) Why Do We Do This?

We did esteem things that can be seen to show off. Some preachers would talk about the Presidents that used to come to their gathering, some would talk about the numbers of governors on their praying lists, some would talk about those they have prayed for who had become senators and other stars around the globe. This they say to lure people into their midst to show them that their God is God of blessing and the God who blesses those people through them would bless the person if he can come to their gathering.

I was once invited to a place by a Pastor friend, in Ibadan, Nigeria, and when I got to the place the pastor there asked me to sit on a seat, that they will use that to pray for me, because it was on that seat that they asked someone to sit on when they prayed for him and the person becomes the governor of the state, that if I sit there, I would also become someone big in life.

Such is what they do, that is their disposition to life, they promote things that could be seen to gain the attention of the gullible in faith.

Jesus here in said, those things are valued by men, but his heavenly fa5ther did not value those, they are immaterial before him.

(D) Jesus Speaks of God’s Disposition

After saying this Jesus told the Pharisees and others listening that God does not look as man looks, because man looks at outward, but God looks on the inside.

But the LORD said unto Samuel, look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart. (1 Sam 16:7)

It is because God looks on the inside that those things, we value does not appeal to him as they did appeal to us.

And he said unto them, : for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. (Luk 16:15)

Abomination in Greek word is “βδέλυγμα”, Romanized form is bdelugma (phonetic spelling is bdel'-oog-mah) which means detestation, idolatry.

In the sight of God those things that we value, he detests because many of those things do not bring people to salvation. Many of those things that we value and speak highly of have become idols in our hearts.

The gospel today is not as powerful as it was in the times past because we value and esteem what we should not esteem. Many preachers are secretly worshipping the rich people because they are the ones sponsoring their television programs, they are the one who buy jets for them, because of their tithes and other offerings which they credit their accounts with.

Thus, they cannot speak the truth to them, and thence the efficacy of the message in their mouths has been reduced if not totally eliminated, yet they are those that the people see as believers, for those who are yet in the rural areas are not preachers, they do not have fire of God in them because they are not speaking on television, internet and other social media outlets.

Because they esteem those ones, they have become idol worshippers though they professed to be believers. God is seeing idolater when they are speaking, and he hates them.

To wrap this up,

what we esteem today are the physical things those things that appeal to our senses and our sensuality, but to God they are abominations when they do not bring people to God. Because of what we esteem in our gatherings that is why the rich people trouble us as Apostle James stated in his book that, but ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? (Jam 2:6). We must have the eyes of God to be in the good books of God always.



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