What does being a “Pharisee” really mean?
I am beginning to wonder if it simply means a knee-jerk reaction to the bible.
The knee-jerk of picking a side. Picking the side God Soft Hands Spirit Guided Jesus is NOT looking at, NOT preaching at, NOT disagreeing with, the side NOT in need of some basic tuition. It means being at the side of Jesus – no matter which direction He is looking.
I am beginning to think this may be a dangerous way to follow. Because it creates an instinctive/hard-wired “us and them” mentality. It allows each of us to create our own “we most certainly are NOT one of them” stance. It allows us to skip and dance around God as we wish. Picking the side we wish to join/avoid at will.
Because I am seeing that to be the consequence of always being on the right side … the winning side … the right side … the true side … the side of love … the side of God. And because I am seeing more and more that God does NOT have sides.
Because the consequence of picking sides all the time? We may not realise we are cheering with a God who is crying for us. We may disagree with a God who is disagreeing with us. We may not notice we are building a framework of our own “science” – around the very God we teach as unfathomable. And because that always insulates/distances each of us from the very God we claim to love.
But how about this?
Because this becomes how to follow, that becomes how to love, this is how we bring others (this Great Commission) to be saved. That is how we all keep a great distance from God and think it the best it gets. Because this becomes “God and Love and Worship.”
”And he said, “Truly I tell you, no prophet is accepted in the prophet’s hometown. But the truth is, there were many widows in Israel in the time of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, and there was a severe famine over all the land; yet Elijah was sent to none of them except to a widow at Zarephath in Sidon. There were also many lepers in Israel in the time of the prophet Elisha, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian.” When they heard this, all in the synagogue were filled with rage. They got up, drove him out of the town, and led him to the brow of the hill on which their town was built, so that they might hurl him off the cliff. But he passed through the midst of them and went on his way.” Luke 4:24-30
Sentence One: YAY! That is why no one takes any notice of me, why I am shunned for my faith, why I can justify making so little difference in my hometown. I am a martyr for my Lord! My Lord says so.
Sentence Two: CRAP!! That means I am not a prophet, never was, never will be. That means I am one of the hard-hearted and stiff-necked followers. That means no matter how much I follow You it is never good enough. I am never good enough. You are telling me that I am no better than them?
Sentence Three: WRONG!!! I must disagree Lord of All. Because I know my heart better than You it seems. You see I have been saved. You said so. You told me. I pray – I worship – I stand up for You – I suffer for You – I am Chosen by You. And that means – I have rights – I have dispensation – I have forgiveness – You said so!
Sentence Four: While we all argue about who is right, who is wrong, who is saved, who is not, are we doing enough, should we have to do anything at all, which verse contradicts that opinion, and which verse supports that opinion, you are a Pharisee and I am not … we lead Him to the Brow of the Hill.
And He passes through us and goes on His way – and we don’t even notice.
Love God, yourself, and each other.
Let’s cut the crap. Let’s notice why that is “the greatest of all”. Let’s understand Love better – because we might understand God better. And even if we don’t – we will be closer to Him, to ourselves, and to each other.
“But the truth is” Love.
The truth is NOT “us or them” – the truth is ALWAYS “Love or No Love”