What message are you teaching?

 

Not sure where this man learned the art of “bungeeing”!  I would like to see his teacher’s credentials!

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

If you have been reading the Scriptures for the last week that I had posted for Lent readings, you would have been reading some very harsh words that Jesus has been speaking to the religious leaders.  Many do not think that Jesus would speak in such a manner to anyone.  “He is all about love.”  And that He is, but love sometimes must take strong measures to insure that the message of love is being spoken. 

Today’s reading, Matthew 23:1-39, is a very strong passage to warn the Jewish religious leaders of the time.  Jesus tells the people that everything the leaders are doing is for men to see, it is for selfish reasons.  It is all about pride.

Matthew 23:5-7 (NIV)
5 “Everything they do is done for men to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long;
6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted in the marketplaces and to have men call them ‘Rabbi.’

Jesus goes on to call them, “hypocrites”, “blind guides”, “blind fools”, “blind Pharisee”, “snakes”, “brood of vipers”.  He tells them that on the outside they look one way, but on the inside it is so different.

Matthew 23:27-28 (NIV)
27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of dead men’s bones and everything unclean.
28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

This is a scary statement:  Matthew 23:13 (NIV)
13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the kingdom of heaven in men’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. (italics are mine)

What message are we speaking today?  What is our motivation?  Are we showing people how to “enter”?  Or are we making a “bungee” mess (see picture above), confusing those around us. 

It better be a message of grace!  It ought to be motivated by love!

As we are headed toward the cross in our readings, take a moment to consider the cross now?  There should not be a day go by where we do not consider His gift of His life!  What Jesus finished on the cross is the only way that you and I can now enjoy God’s presence.   Look to the grace of God and His love continually, and then you can not help but speak of His gift to us.  You will not fall into the place of giving wrong teaching to anyone.  (Are you considering anyone, or are there some you shy away from?)  If you stray from the cross, so will your life and how you teach.  Yes, you all are teachers.  All of you by the way you live, speak, or do not speak, are teaching lessons every day.  What a privilege we have!

I know a lot of what I write seems repetitive.  But how often do we get busy and don’t consider the love that Christ demonstrates for us on the cross?  How much of His Word is a continual reminder of His love.  I do not grow tired of hearing of that Good News!  Remind one another.  I already have appreciated the reminder someone e-mailed me this morning!

In Christ!

Love,

Steve

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