Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Who do you follow?

37When Jesus had finished speaking, a Pharisee invited him to eat with him; so he went in and reclined at the table. 38But the Pharisee, noticing that Jesus did not first wash before the meal, was surprised.
39Then the Lord said to him, "Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also? 41But give what is inside the dish to the poor, and everything will be clean for you. (Luke 11:37-41)

Jesus was challenging this Pharisee to come to terms with what he and his associates were doing to themselves as well as to the Jewish people. Yes, there were laws of cleansing, but they were designed to show by an outward symbol the need to have one's heart cleansed of wickedness. The Pharisees were robbing the people through the moneychangers and sellers of sacrificial animals in the temple. They were filled with greed and power plays, jealousy and fighting. But on the outside their hands were clean. The Pharisees were concerned with what a man did; Jesus was concerned with what he was. Jesus had told them earlier, "For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, slanders. These are the things which defile the man; but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile the man." (Matthew 15:19-20.)
These foolish men were becoming blinded to the reality that the very God who created their bodies was the same God who created their souls and their hearts and that nothing could be hidden from him. "For God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart." (1 Samuel 16:7)
I guess we have to ask ourselves what God sees when he looks at us. Does he see a disciple who by words and deeds spreads the message of love Jesus brought us? Or does God see someone who is bound by the rules no matter who these rules may hurt and no matter who might be turned away from hearing Jesus' message of love. We can only search ourselves for that answer and hope that we are one of the former and not the latter. The choice is up to each one of us to determine who we follow, man's rules or God's love.

Peace and love,


"This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. " (1 John 4:9-10)

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