[CF Devotionals] 2014-03-14 - Holier Than Thou

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Have you ever thought to yourself, "That was a lousy devotional. It barely had any scripture”? Have you ever expressed concern that someone's prayer didn't sound respectful enough? Have you said, "I hope no one sees me here (or with that person)"?

If you answered yes, then sadly I must tell you, you wouldn't like Jesus very much, if you met him. I bet you would have liked another crowd of religious leaders back in the day, though, but I won't go there … yet. But please allow me to introduce you to this man – this God-man – anyway. Jesus is God, who put on flesh to be in every way like us, in order to die in our place. Along the way, he taught us, healed us, prayed over us, and yes even wept over us. But I don't think he had much pomp and circumstance when he did it. He quoted scripture, but most of his recorded speaking engagements had very little Old Testament in them. He mostly seems to have enjoyed telling stories. Who doesn't like a good story, though?

He prayed too, but his prayers don't come across as very dignified. He didn't use big words like Holy Great Creator on High. I'm not sure he spoke in fancy thees and thous, or the equivalent back then. Seems to me he spoke in common Aramaic, maybe with just a hint of a back woods Galilean drawl. And he dared to address the Almighty Father in Heaven, simply as "Daddy". Who does this guy think he is? Oh yeah he's God. Oh - and then on Friday nights, we don't see him hanging out with the respectable churchgoing crowd, but rather the party-goers, the dishonest tax collectors, and all sorts of other shady characters.

Hmm … and this is the guy I'm supposed to emulate. Maybe I should drop the super-churchy attitude and start being like him. Seems like he might have known what he was doing. After all, there's not too many people for whom the skies have opened, and a booming voice has announced, "This is my son, in whom I am well pleased!" Now for that other crowd. They were the Pharisees, and as far as I can see, they seemed to be the “holier than thou” crowd. But it was them that this God-man spoke out against, time and time again.

What gives? Could it be that Jesus is more interested in our hearts than our checklists of good behavior? Hope this gives you a little something to ponder today. Take a gander at these passages if you'd like.

Matthew 13:3a (NASB) – And He spoke many things to them in parables…

Mark 14:36 (NASB) – And He was saying, "Abba! Father! All things are possible for You. Remove this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You will.”

Luke 5:29 (NASB) – And Levi gave a big reception for Him in his house, and there was a great crowd of tax collectors and other people who were reclining at the table with them.

Matthew 23:27-28 (NASB) – "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside, they are full of dead men’s bones and all uncleanness. So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness."


[email adam] acdum@hotmail.com

All scripture references are from the KJV unless otherwise noted.

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