In the second part of our two-part series on "Religion's Lies" we find the Pharisees being so fixated on rules and entrapment that they miss the opportunity to love and care for people. In this text we understand more how easy it can be to miss opportunities to do good and put God's glory on display.
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The Pharisees had built a religion full of rules and guilt that missed the point of God's Law...God Himself! In this week's text Jesus exposes the lies of their religion and tries to help them see that Jesus Himself is better than the structure of their false religious system.
Jesus has just finished finished saying some very hard things in terms of judgment, repentance, and the reality of Hell. What is beautiful about this text is that Jesus doesn't leave the listener in those hard saying. Instead, Jesus offers invitation...invitation to come to Him as the source of true life, joy, and rest!. We find the heart of our Savior in this text and the offering of what we truly need.
The idea of God's coming judgment was very important to Jesus, therefore we should seek to understand why. Jesus' follows his discussion of judgment with a call to repentance. Why and what does repentance mean? Any of us who would seek to be faithful to Jesus must have a solid understanding of what repentance is and how it unfolds in our daily life.
Who was John the Baptist and what was His role in Jesus' life? What can we learn from John the Baptist and how does His life of mission challenge our own?
Is Jesus really the Son of God? Is Jesus really the Messiah? Is Jesus really the One who has come to restore all things? Have you had questions like these? John the Baptist did, and find these questions being asked in our text this week. Jesus answers, and He answers clearly and emphatically!
For those engaged in Jesus' mission around the world we need to be reminded that there is a great reward in this work. It is not the reward of large bank accounts, health, and safety, but the reward of the living God and seeing Him transform the lives of those who hear His Gospel.
These are some of Jesus' strongest words regarding mission and the commitment needed to follow Him. The truth of Gospel is divisive because if offers Jesus alone as our hope and peace. Be encouraged to trust in the Gospel more fully and stand on it's truth more boldly through this difficult text.
Jesus encourages us with powerful reasons why we should not fear as we seek engage in His mission in the world. Be encouraged by Jesus' words to trust in Him and His power.
There is no greater call than the call to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus promises us in this text that persecution will come, but the hope of the Gospel transforming lives and the joy of serving our Savior must always defeat our fears.