God:removes our preconception of things…
Matthew 23:37 (KJV) “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness”.
Most folks if asked to describe the characteristic of Jesus would say all the nice words that you can think of in the English dictionary and they would be true; and He also had no sin as the word tells us “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21).
I don’t doubt the word and I would be one of those people describing Him as all that is wonderful according to the words in the English dictionary. In addition, any guy who is touched with compassion to the point that he cries “Jesus wept” (John 11:35) is worth the trust and adoration that is due to Him.
But in reading I got to this interesting verse in the word; actually it was the entire chapter that enthralled me to the point I had to go over and return to points and passages. He starts out talking to His disciples and the multitudes warning and instructing them on the things and people in life that they ought to be careful and mindful of and the conversation turns to the behavior of the Scribes and Pharisees: Jesus lost His sanctified dignity when He considered their behavior.
To the point that He ceased from talking and training the class to addressing any unsuspecting Pharisee or Scribe who happen to be in the immediate vicinity and doing so in the first person; I have to admit, I am laughing really hard as I try to imagine this taking place in real time. Imagine someone doing something so deeply hurtful to you and you are reporting it to a group of bystanders and the person pass by at that exact moment and you get into a rage and attack that person.
That might be taking it a bit far, but my imagination just got away from me (laughter); Jesus saw their behavior and the detriment of their acts toward those under their tutelage and it wasn’t a pretty picture if the condemnation He cast upon them is any measure. He infinitely turn them inside out and saw all the putrid and rotten aspects of their being and He was not shy in calling them out for what they were and were doing.
This is in real time a “tongue lashing” and I would have most likely crawled into a hole just to save face. Does anyone have a hard time trying to figure out why the folks wanted to crucify Jesus and to do it expeditiously?
But the gospel doesn’t ask us to be accepting of sin; in the contrary, it behooves us to call it what it is and deal with it to the point that restoration is granted. “You my dear have some terrible behaviors that need addressing”; then deal with the repercussions of telling the truth and move on; you just won a soul.
But if I love you with your sin and faults and we all look on with grimaces for smiles it doesn’t do any one of us any good in the long run, does it?
I always pondered the verse “open rebuke is better that secret love” (Proverbs 27:5); but maybe our attitudes today is what it refers. But my prayer: Jesus, help us to be like you just a little bit more and not hide behind, Gentle Jesus meek and mild.
New trivia: a king fasted for one of God’s beloved sons; who are these two individuals?