Hey everyone – somehow this post and podcast was stuck in “draft” form for quite a while. So its from a couple of weeks ago. But if you missed it here is what happened!
Lent: Seven Woes of Jesus ~ Week 6: Prophet Killers, and Rejecting the Truth
On Sunday we continued in our series looking at how Jesus calls the religious elite of his day to follow God his way. And that’s a message we still need.
So on Sunday we looked at his last “woe” where Jesus essentially condemns the religious leaders as being like their ancestors – people who killed the prophets.
Now the prophets in the Old Testament weren’t so much future tellers, as “forth-tellers” ~ telling the truth to people in power. And this is what got them killed, and it will still get you killed today. The prophets stood up to the kings and powerful and called them out for trusting in military power (horses and chariots), for neglecting the poor, and treating the immigrant and foreigner wrongly. The prophets essentially took the reality of their lives and brought it before the powerful and said, “you are obligated to address this” and if you don’t God’s judgment will come upon you.
And Jesus standing in that tradition comes to the Pharisees and does the same thing. He says that by rejecting him and his message of Good News for the poor and hurting, they are rejecting God and being like those who killed the prophets of old. Jesus says that if they continue to reject the poor, forget about mercy, and neglect justice that judgement and even hell itself will be their destiny.
But here is the interesting part – this isn’t what Jesus wants. Jesus in the passage makes it very clear that what he really wants is to gather them together, like a mother hen, to care and protect. But because the Pharisees reject him, and the truth he brings – they also reject his protection. That when we reject Jesus, we are left all alone with the consequences of our sin. And that’s what happens to the Pharisees – they reject Jesus and suffer the consequences of their own sin.
But here is the hopeful part – we don’t need to make the same choice. We can learn from the example of the Pharisees how hard it is to listen to truth from God, how hard it is to value justice, how hard it is to practice love for the lowly, but how absolutely necessary it is.
So on Sunday we ended with this main point: The Pharisees missed the point, but we can listen and hear Jesus.
Jesus didn’t want destruction, difficulty, and judgement to come upon the Pharisees, but it did because of their rejection of him. Because whenever you miss God’s voice difficulty is on the horizon. But whenever you listen hope is on the horizon
So we ended with a challenge: to listen to Jesus. To actually sit and be open to Jesus, and invite him to speak at least daily into our lives. To let him shape us, and bring up some of the areas we need to change. The truth is hard to hear, but if we want to be gathered together, live like Jesus, and experience his care and comfort we cannot reject him and his way of life. And that begins with hearing and listening.
So on Sunday we had one challenge: To once a day for just 5 minutes a day sit, be open to Jesus, and invite Jesus to speak
Because we each have a choice. A choice to listen and to respond, or not. And that choice can make all the difference.
Big Idea: The Pharisees missed the point, but we have a choice, we don’t have to.
- Prophets told the truth
- Your present reality is dictating your future
- Jesus isn’t angry with how they relate to God, but to those around them
- God isn’t impressed with religion, and he still isn’t if you ignore the people he sends to direct you and the people you are to care for
- When we reject Jesus we are left with the consequences of our sin on our own
- the heart of Jesus is still grace
- Whenever you miss God’s voice difficulty is on the horizon but whenever you listen hope is on the horizon
- The first step to hearing Jesus is opening yourself to Jesus
- Invite Jesus to speak to us and change us
Adult Discussion Questions:
What stuck out to you from the sermon? What was challenging to you? What was new? Why do you think that hearing the truth is so hard? What “rises up” or reaction do you have to when someone tries to share with you “the truth”? How have you maybe ignored Jesus in the past like the Pharisees? How can you ensure that you don’t miss or ignore Jesus now?
Challenge for the Week: To once a day for just 5 minutes a day sit, be open to Jesus, and invite Jesus to speak