In reading scripture I always have felt disdain for the Pharisees, Sadducees, and teachers of the Law who “miss the point” and put such burdens on their followers, and who were the impetus to put Jesus to death.
Then I read Luke 7 and came across this in verse 30: “But the Pharisees and experts in the law rejected God’s purpose for themselves, because they had not been baptized by John”.
It struck me that God had given them a purpose. I have to believe that somewhere they were diligently trying to follow the God. But somewhere they got off track. Maybe it was because of their pride, and desire to be revered. But maybe it was their desire to be holy. Maybe it was because they wanted status, but maybe they wanted to honestly live as close to perfect godly lives as possible.
We all have a purpose that God gives us, and we all have sin that derails us. As a professed Christian and staunch follower of Jesus I really want to follow him as accurately as possible and represent Jesus well to those around me. But like the Pharisees, Sadducees, and teachers of the Law I am a sinner and have the same ability to derail others in their faith journey as the Pharisees, Sadducees, and Law teachers.
Like these highly dedicated people, we who wish follow Christ diligently must really be led by the Spirit in humility, and we must really be in the Word and know Jesus. We really must be careful in what we believe are the non-negotiables of our faith. And we must examine ourselves in our outward behaviors and reactions to people around us. In our conversations, formations and expressions of political thoughts, and other ways we reveal our hearts.
None of us will be perfect. But all of us do have a purpose that God gives us and we are all called to display his glory. Let’s be careful to not become religious and rather be relational and effective ambassadors of Jesus.
From Isaiah 43: 1-7. “But now thus says the Lord, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel:… everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.”
He made us to give him glory – let’s make every effort to fulfill our purposes!