Thursday, November 01, 2007
When am I going to stop seeing myself as a Pharisee?
The Evangelical tradition, (of which I am probably a part), makes a big deal about the heart. We ask questions like, "How is your walk with God?" And we make statements like, "Well, Jesus cares about the heart of the individual."
I was recently listening to a sermon on Matthew 23, and was stunned by these words of Jesus, "You have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness." I know that Jesus cares about how I treat the poor, the wronged, the alien... I know that I am to show mercy to others, but I have also lived with the assurance that what was really important was my heart. I have cared about justice, but I have equally (if not more so) cared about religion. I would estimate that I spend more time being"religious," that is, acting in a way that a Christian Pastor is expected to act, than I have seeking merciful justice.
The Pharisees were super religious, they had their tithes down to a science, they didn't omit anything, even the smallest spice, however they missed the more important matters, they missed the obedience that God really was hoping for, they missed the point that obeying God meant more than just being concerned with their own walk with God.
Posted by Ryan at 10:02 PM