Friday, March 12, 2010

P4E.132 Angry Jesus

For whom did Christ reserve His ire? Whom did He judge/criticize? The prostitute? The tax collector? The thief? The adulteress? The Muslim? No. Seriously think about it. Who did He direct His disdain towards? The Pharisees and Sadducees seemed to top the list. Why?

In reading Scripture, I believe the main shortcoming of the Pharisees and Sadducees was arrogance. The Sadducees' arrogance was born of wealth and power-by-wealth. At the time of Christ, they held a majority of the seats of Israel's ruling council, called the Sanhedrin. Because of their wealth and power, they were very self-sufficient. They were more political than religious, caring more for man's concerns than God's. The Pharisees' arrogance was born of populism and in promoting and enforcing the oral traditions of Judaism even over the written Law.

What Christ faulted both the Pharisees and Sadducees for was their holding onto the letter of the Law, without caring for the spirit of the Law. These religious leaders were arrogant in that they believed that they, and only they, held the keys to The Truth. They did not care for people, only how their rules were to be applied to the people. Jesus was scathing in his criticism of these religious leaders. If I were to guess, I believe that He would be just as harsh with most of today's religious leaders. There's a haughty arrogance that goes hand in hand with believing that only you (and those who think like you) hold the keys to heavenly eternity. A smugness that goes with knowing that yours is the correct interpretation of Scripture and that there is no other. A meanness that naturally condenses towards those who espouse different views. There seems to be power associated and accumulated with aligning with particular political views and causes (conservative and liberal). I was like them until I got help in realizing what I was doing.

I'm at an age where I am questioning everything, even my own life's paradigm. What do I know, for sure? Do I know anything? I have to say that there is a certain release in letting God be God. Letting Him be the judge of men's hearts. Letting Him have mercy on whom He will have mercy. Letting Him rain and shine on the good and the evil. Getting out of His way and being willing to simply live in the moment. To cherish His ways and to have the goal of being just like His son, Jesus. That is, loving, joyful, peaceful, patient, good, kind, faithful, gentle and self-controlled. This physical existence has its own responsibilities and its own rewards, but it will end. The spiritual existence does as well, but it will never end. I've come to the conclusion that the physical existence is also practice and preparation for the spiritual one. And I'm content.

"God is Spirit, and those that worship Him must worship in spirit and in truth."

Your ally in the pursuit of Christlikeness, Kim

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