This interaction with Jesus and a Pharisee is so perfect. See there’s this misconception that Jesus came to bring religion when really He is the biggest advocate against it.
39 Then the Lord said to him, “Now then, you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside you are full of greed and wickedness. 40 You foolish people! Did not the one who made the outside make the inside also?41 But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor, and everything will be clean for you.
42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God 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.
Jesus was basically saying that you are the very people who adorn yourselves with nice garments, fancy talk, who come in the name of “God” but really the spirit of God is nowhere in you. We see this today in so many churches.
I will never forget this time where I was interning in New York, the summer of 2016. It was only by the Grace of God that a friend of mine from college allowed me to stay with her and her aunt in New Rochelle, NY. I remember her aunt was the sweetest lady; A praying lady who was a caregiver for the majority of the week to this older jewish lady. So we rarely saw her. But on the weekends she was off and would go to church.
This one particular Sunday we went to church with her. Dressed in regular clothes, my friend and I were chilling to say the least. I loved church because I grew up in church but my friend didn’t (at least I don’t believe). My friend was this gorgeous dark skin young lady. She almost resembled the model in Jasmine in these pictures. She had piercings and short colored hair. She almost looked like she was related to Grace Jones.
From the moment we stepped in that church, the people were looking at her like vultures. And when we were asked to stand for altar call or prayer, they immediately took her and convinced her to get baptized right there at service.
They gave her a white robe and dipped her in the pool. Everyone applauded and cheered. And that girl came up the same way she left, just more traumatized than when she first got there. We left that church in shock. It rained as we left and looking back on it; as we tried to find the taxi, I know God was sad. My friend was already battling depression and in a toxic relationship with someone who was mentally controlling. So imagine what that did for her trying to seek God and the only memory she of church is this event. I laughed back then, (still chuckling at how crazy those people were) but seriously, that was traumatic as hell…literally.
Back to the story of Jesus and the Pharisee. Jesus, the CHRIST, IMMANUEL “God is with us” sat at dinner with a Pharisee and the guy didn’t even know that God in the flesh was sitting smack dab in his face; because of the spirit of religion.
Jesus came to set the captives free per Luke 4:18.
Through religion we are blind to the things of God. The Pharisee could’ve had his whole life changed. Imagine being in the presence of a man whom had done miracles on people simply by speaking a word or even by touching the hymn of His garment. You neglect the abundant life when you
So many people go to church who are seeking the true and living God. Seeking Christ for eternal life and to be set free from the chains of darkness. But many are met with people judging based off of their looks, tattoos, piercings, and more. These very people could be your prophets, evangelists, pastors, apostles, and teachers. But you meet them with a baptism with no Holy Spirit with leaders who’s hearts and hands are still bound by hidden perversions like lust, lying, cheating etc. Workers of Iniquity right there in the church, going to hell.
Meet people with the love of God and let the Holy Spirit be the Holy Spirit. Focus on loving and teaching the word of God from a place of love. With the word of God, it convicts, corrects, loves and all of the above. We are just vessels. And yes the truth hurts at times and the word of God is the truth but just make sure, what you are doing is to gain a soul and not of your flesh.
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