Matthew 12:22-50, Luke 11
Jesus’ bluntness in the face of legalistic hypocrisy is fascinating to ponder. What if we confronted our cultural leaders in the same way Jesus did?
At a dinner at one of the Pharisee’s houses, Jesus unleashed these spiky words:
For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens,[m] but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.
For you love to sit in the seats of honor in the synagogues and receive respectful greetings as you walk in the marketplaces. 44 Yes, what sorrow awaits you! For you are like hidden graves in a field. People walk over them without knowing the corruption they are stepping on.”
For you crush people with unbearable religious demands, and you never lift a finger to ease the burden.
For you remove the key to knowledge from the people. You don’t enter the Kingdom yourselves, and you prevent others from entering.”
Maybe one day when I’m not being plagued with restless legs AND cramps I will compare some of these sayings to some of the actions of our leaders in America…
Another thing I noticed in these passages is an answer to a question I posed earlier this week about the Kingdom of God. I wanted to know what, exactly, was the Kingdom. Jesus answers this question here:
20 But if I am casting out demons by the power of God,[g] then the Kingdom of God has arrived among you.
It appears that Jesus himself is the Kingdom! Hmmm…I must ponder that one awhile!