Imagine the scene… some of the established religious leaders in town asked the new guy over for supper. The new guy was clearly well versed in the scripture and the people in town seemed very drawn to his sermons. As they sat down to the meal, the other leaders watched the new guy closely. Their jealousy led them to judgmentally look for fault in anything the new guy did. It didn’t take long for the new guy to access the situation, get his fill of their ‘righteousness’ and speak up. As the words came out of Jesus’ mouth, I imagine the Pharisees were somewhat shocked as they were not accustomed to being scrutinized or rebuked and they didn’t like it.
Moving forward 2000 years, I find one of Jesus’ statements to the Pharisees challenging me.
“Woe to you Pharisees, because you give a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.” Luke 11:43
My love of God leads me to do many things- go to church, read my Bible, journal, and such- all good ways to walk closer to God. However, this verse makes me pause and ask if there are areas or behaviors I should be doing as a Christian that instead I’ve neglected. Open my eyes to what I need to work on, Lord. Do I love others as I should? Am I being a humble servant? Am I sharing the good news of the gospel with a lost and dying world? How can I focus on just my walk with Christ when so many are on a path leading to eternal damnation? Show me, Lord, where I have neglected being or doing all you have called me to do as a Christian. Change me from the inside out. Refocus my attention and may your name be glorified! Amen