Monday, December 19, 2011

A Morning Cup of Tea: Jesus Dines with the Pharisees

Good morning! Today we are reading Luke 11: 37 through the end of the chapter, verse 54.  Jesus was asked to dinner by one of the Pharisees. Jesus went in and sat without first washing. The Pharisee was shocked to see this. The Pharisees required washing before meals not for sanitary reasons but for ceremonial reasons.  Jesus rebuked the Pharisee for paying attention to small, insignificant details such as washing the outside but neglecting what was inside. They had gotten to the point of following laws of their own making such as tithing mint and other herbs, but chose not to give much thought to God's laws .  He reprimanded the Pharisees for being showy in their piousness as well. Their worship  and lives in the community were all geared toward showing what great men of God they were supposed to be, not doing as God wanted them to do.
  A lawyer present at the meal was sure that Jesus' words were directed at him and his kind as well, and he was right. Jesus pointed out their sins as well.  Of course this did not sit well with the Pharisees and the scribes so they began working to trap Jesus  with his words.
   Jesus was a very kind and gentle man, but he was not one to let sin slide.If he had a teachable moment he used it, and wasted no time in letting those who were in the wrong know it. Jesus knew when to be gentle in speaking to others and he knew when harsher tones were called for. We need to know when and how to speak up against wrong doing. Most of the time a gentle voice is called for. At the same time, we should not get caught up in the "shoulds" of life. We think we know how others should be living but we cannot go around reprimanding others' faults, no matter how gently, if we are so busy seeing others wrongdoings we neglect to face and deal with  our own. We must deal with one another with love and understanding.

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