Don't Miss It
How did the Pharisees miss Jesus? How did these ultra-religious people miss Jesus? They were very devoted. They fasted. They tithed. They went to prayer times. They strictly observed the Sabbath laws and yet somehow, they missed Jesus. Not only did they miss Jesus they stood in opposition to Him and wanted to kill Him. The real question for me today is if these devoted people, who were well respected in their communities, missed the coming of the Messiah and became more focused on themselves then what am I missing about Jesus? Could I be in the same danger of believing I have it all together when in reality I am missing the bigger picture that God is trying to show me? Have I put my religion in front of my relationship with Jesus?
One reason the Pharisees hated Jesus and wanted to kill Him is because He did not strictly observe the Sabbath laws. In one conflict with the Pharisees, Jesus asked, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do evil, to save life or to kill?” Jesus then went on to heal a man’s hand. Jesus was grieved over the hardness of the Pharisees’ hearts. The Pharisees were so focused on the religious law that they neglected to care for the people in front of them. Do we ever put form or protocol before people? Do we ever allow tradition to hinder our ability to serve and love people? Am I like the Pharisee in that I am convinced I am right and yet I have somehow missed what God is doing?
Sometimes we get so caught up in doing what is right that we forget people. We can never forget that Jesus came for people. We like the fact that Jesus came for us, but it is different when it gets messy. We have to realize the whole business of redeeming people is messy. Leading people to Jesus is messy and it takes us to messy places. Jesus is not concerned with social protocols. He does not concern Himself with traditions. Jesus came because He loved us. Paul says in Romans 5:8 that God demonstrated His love toward us in that while we were sinners Christ died for us. Jesus came to redeem people and free them from their sins. Note that this verse says, “while we were still sinners.” Jesus came for us in the depth of our mess. He did not wait for us to clean up. He knew that would never happen apart from Him. So, let me ask a parting question, What have you put before people?