My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. I follow the readings and journaling from lifejournal.me. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
Friday, September 28, 2012
But the Lord said to him, “Now you Pharisees clean the outside of
the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery
(Luke 11:39 NASB)
“You foolish ones, did not He who made the outside make the inside also?
(Luke 11:40 NASB)
“But give that which is within as charity, and then all things are clean for you.
(Luke 11:41 NASB)
One of the lawyers said to Him in reply, “Teacher, when You say this, You insult us too.”
(Luke 11:45 NASB)
But He said, “Woe to you lawyers as well! For you weigh men down with
burdens hard to bear, while you yourselves will not even touch the
burdens with one of your fingers.
(Luke 11:46 NASB)
“Woe to you lawyers! For you have taken away the key of knowledge;
you yourselves did not enter, and you hindered those who were entering.”
(Luke 11:52 NASB)
As Jesus became more popular in his ministry he became a greater
threat to those who had the religious power. They constantly came after
him, trying to catch him in something they thought was incorrect.
Jesus was certainly critical of them, telling them that they cared more
about how they looked on the outside than how they truly were on the
inside, and for Jesus, what was on the inside of the individual is what
mattered. The religious leaders also brought the lawyers into the
conversation and they too combed over every word which came out of
Jesus' mouth. They couldn't wait to catch him in something that they
thought was just not quite right. Jesus became indignant with them for
he knew that their heavy criticisms and judgements were creating a
situation in which people felt stifled -- that they could not express
themselves, nor explore greater knowledge for fear of being judged for
the words that they spoke.
The onset of mass-media has created an environment in which we must
also carefully weigh our words. There are certain individuals who want
to make sure that we are very clean on the outside and are measuring
every word which is spoken or written to see if it measures up to a
particular code or standard. The use of certain terminology has been
deemed heretical and has brought us to a place where just as Jesus
predicted, we cannot even have the conversations which are the keys to
knowledge. Gaining knowledge and understanding is not borne out in a
vacuum. Sometimes we need the "space" to be able to "think out loud"
and work out our salvation. Jesus knew that grace was necessary for
people to grow spiritually and yet he complained that the lawyers
weighed people down with burdens that were hard to bear. Of course, the
lawyers themselves did not hold themselves to this standard.
This morning this story has given me pause as I have thought about
who we are as followers of Christ. Within the Christian world I hear
and read much criticism of one another over politics, theological
positions and our interpretation of the word. By being so openly
critical have we created a burden which is too difficult to bear? Have
we stifled healthy conversation that might help us engage today's world
in a much more effective manner? May we learn from Christ, who is our
example, that we must be changed on the inside and extend grace to those
around us who may not agree with our opinions but who are working out
their salvation in a space in which they have the freedom to not have to
weigh every single word which comes from their mouth.
Lord, please help me today to allow you to clean the "inside" --
while at the same time helping me not to judge others from the