“But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, because you shut off the kingdom of heaven from people; for you do not enter in yourselves, nor do you allow those who are entering to go in.” Matthew 23:13 (NASB)
Jesus was probably the most politically incorrect person who ever lived! He offended all the political groups of His day. And we, as His followers, need to be just like Him.
In His day, there were basically three political groups: Pharisees, Sadducees, and the Essenes. Which do you think Jesus was the hardest on? The Pharisees. Why? I think it was probably because they were the group whose views most closely aligned with His own. Pharisees believed in a resurrection. They sought after righteousness. They followed the laws of Moses to the letter. So where did they go wrong? They had become prideful and arrogant, believing that prosperity equaled God’s approval and grace.
Jesus was most certainly not a Sadducee. They denied the existence of an afterlife, believing that this life was all there was, thereby eliminating the possibility of judgment or eternal consequences.
Nor was He an Essene. They believed only in the development of the mental or spiritual faculties, denying the value of the physical at all. Jesus, on the other hand, was constantly being criticized for eating and drinking with “sinners.” He worked with His hands. He celebrated life. And it was His physical death that would buy our eternal resurrection, not just as spirits floating on a cloud, but as real, physical beings in resurrected bodies just like His. I think Jesus didn’t have much to say to the Sadducees or the Essenes because they were so far off base, there wasn’t much to say except you’re wrong!
When I was young, I tended to identify myself politically as a “Republicrat” or a “Demlican.” I always said I stood with the Republicans on issues of “private morality” and with the Democrats on issues of “public morality.” But as I became older, I have more and more identified myself solely as a Republican. Why? Because to me, the Right to Life IS the litmus test! If we don’t believe in that, what are we? We’re either Sadducees who don’t believe we will have to face a Creator for judgment or we’re Essenes who believe physical life has no value anyway!
So I only speak to those who DO believe there is a God, who DO believe in judgment, who DO believe in life. Don’t become like the Pharisees. Don’t become proud and arrogant. Don’t be hypocrites. Don’t hoard up for yourselves the kingdom of heaven. If you do, you might miss it. Share Jesus. Share of yourself. Fulfill His mission for you on this earth. Even if it means being politically incorrect.
Taboo Tuesday Question of the Day: Have you voted yet? Please do!