Jesus: His World & His Message Part 4 (Devotion from the Pastor)
Jesus certainly wasn’t careful about the way He lived His life. He didn’t worry when it came to saying and doing the right things. For starters, He and His disciples weren’t very careful when they came into Jerusalem on a Holy Saturday when no one was supposed to work or to travel, or to do anything else, in sort of an overt challenge to the Jewish system and their interpretation of God’s law. When He was challenged about His interpretation of these laws, He said that all of the Laws hang on the law of first loving God and your neighbor, if any law is not at its core loving God and neighbor then it is secondary. Essentially saying obedience to the law is not seen in our actions as much as it is seen in the heart—if our intensions to love God and neighbor through the law are not pure, then abidance to the law means nothing.
When crowds heard about Yeshua, and began to gather to hear what He had to say, He didn’t go into a house of worship and begin to exegete scrolls of scriptures, like a religious leader and teacher would. Instead, He sat them down in the sheep pasture, or an olive grove, or on the shore and said radical things like, live as if today was all you have and you don’t have to worry about tomorrow, because essentially you don’t have tomorrow, God will worry about giving you tomorrow. Also love carelessly, love extravagantly, live as if nothing you give away can hurt you financially or make your situation worse, because nothing you give out of love can ever make you poorer—Don’t hold onto things to tight, let it all go for the sake of others. Then when Jesus was talking about abiding by God’s laws, He took it to a greater level. He would say things like you heard that it is wrong to kill, but I tell you, yeah it is wrong to kill, but it is just as bad to be angry with someone. Or you heard that it is wrong to commit adultery, yeah it is wrong to commit adultery, but I tell you it is just as bad to look at someone in lust. To people today and people back then it was radical talk.
You can’t even be angry with someone, how could anyone live up to that set of laws? But that was the point, Jesus point was revealing an impossible level of righteousness, in order to tell us all that we can’t live up to the standard. Meaning that we are all guilty, and if we are all guilty it means that there are not those on the outside and those on the inside—there are not those in which we can keep away from us because of their sin—there are not those who we can look at as clean and unclean. Jesus says with these words that outside, unclean, sin is not just a temporary state that we can find ourselves in if we don’t obey the laws. It is actually the normal human condition that we all are in. Talk about living careless in a time in which you must be careful. Not Yeshua, no.
Stay tuned for part 5. Be Blessed!