Friday, June 3, 2011

How not to be a pharisee...

We love to read Jesus’ rebukes of the Pharisees. We are astonished of how he takes on the “powers that be” in favor of the little guy. We like it until we realize that we are “the powers that be”! You see, we are those who hold to a high view of scripture, are religiously conservative, and who seek personal holiness - just like the Pharisees!

Now, all those things are good, but can be distorted into something cold, dead and ugly. So, how do we hold true to God’s word and not become like the Pharisees? Let me use the “woes” from Luke 11:37-52 to suggest a few ideas (we can learn a lot from their failures!).

  • Emphasize the inward, not the outward: Luke 11:39-40
  • Majors on the majors, not the minors: Luke 11:42
  • Seek humility, and kill pride: Luke 11:43
  • Remember, God’s word is to be a help, not a burden: Luke 11:46
  • Don’t just revere the prophets, do what they say! Luke 11:47-51
  • God’s word is the key to freedom, not a chain for bondage: Luke 11:52

Marin Luther said that the Bible was like a cradle in which we find Jesus. Don’t examine the cradle, honor the cradle, or try to protect the cradle. Find Jesus!

The well wisher of your soul’s happiness,
Pastor Tom

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