1 Samuel 19-21 Luke 11:29-54
“One of the experts on the law said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, when you say these things, you are insulting us, too.’” (Luke 11:45 NCV)
Jesus had started in on the Pharisees. He’d just noted their hypocrisy in the way they washed their utensils but didn’t cleanse their hearts and then how meticulously they counted the seeds to tithe their cumin, but didn’t worry about justice and mercy, when one of the teachers of the Law interrupted Him. He complained that Jesus insulted them when He insulted the Pharisees. Maybe it’s just the mood I’m in, but I can imagine Jesus thinking, “Oh, you want your own insults, eh? I got this.” Then He focused His pronouncements of woe on the teachers of the Law specifically. He mentioned that they created strict laws for others to follow while they wouldn’t even try to follow them. He noted their complicity in killing the prophets. Then He accused them of destroying learning. The moral of the story is, “don’t give Jesus a motive to start talking about your sins.”
Jesus doesn’t go out of His way to talk about our sins. If He did, He could wake me in the middle of the night and start attacking me – keeping me up for days. He does keep molding us to be conformed to His image, though, so He brings our sins to mind as He helps us to conquer them. Jesus does have a motive for making us confront our sins. He wants us to draw close to Him so that our sin is as abhorrent to us as it is to Him. Even though we know that God forgives our sins, we should never live as though we’re presuming on that forgiveness. When our sins are called to mind, we should be sorrowful about them, and repent of the actions and the attitudes that led to the sin. Jesus told us in the Sermon on the Mount that the attitudes led to the actions. I may not have committed adultery, but did I have lust in my heart? I may not have committed murder, but did I have hate in my heart? Admit it, when I mentioned those two areas, you thought about yourself, didn’t you? You should have, and not because I’m insulting you, but because those sins are part of the human condition. Unless you’re perfect, you’ll struggle with one sin or another. When Jesus calls them to mind, however He does it, He does so to help us cast off the sin that so easily entangles us so that we can run the race He’s called us to.
Lord, sin sidetracks us so easily, and like the lawyers You dealt with, we get offended easily when our sin is called to mind. Remind me that Your goal is to draw me closer to You. Please forgive me, and give me the strength to overcome my sin.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson. Used by permission. All rights reserved.