Friday, October 31, 2008

Simple Greatness

Matthew 23

If anyone ever tells you that the Jesus of the Bible is too mamby-pamby for their liking, have them read Matthew 23. There Jesus lays into the Pharisees, a very pious and dedicated religious group, more than he ever nailed any other group. He calls them "white-washed tombs...hyprocrites (6 times)...blind guides...a brood of vipers." This isn't the same guy who's having PBJ's with little American kids on my children's bible, is it? It's revealing that Jesus saved his harshest words, not for those who were far from God, but those who seemed to be the closest - religious people.

What might that say to us? What do you suppose Jesus would say about the ways we seek to follow God? What sorts of holy habits do we have that would irk him? We'll discuss how Jesus' warnings to the Pharisees can help us to have a more genuine faith that impacts our community and world.
Remember to VOTE!
- Curtis

1 comment:

  1. One of the ironies about the concept of "hypocrisy" is that it only applies to those who take a position, to those who have standards. Any of us who stand for something are going to be open to the charge of hypocrisy. The Pharisees were no different. In contrast to the Saducees, the Pharisees stood for something, God's rule. Their lives didn't measure up to that lofty standard, but in most cases they tried.

    Incidentally, some of the most ignored verses in the NT are Mt. 23:2-3, "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you..." Focus is often on the inadequacy of their practice, and not on the authority of their teaching. Just a thought.


    P.S. It's interesting that in Acts the Pharisees are often seen as the good guys. 5:34; 23:6; 26:5


Thanks for posting!