WHAT IF hypocrisy is closer to those with a Christian heritage?
We are in danger as a Church in permitting the re-making of Jesus to one that fits the times we are living in.
We are reading a passage which shows a man (Jesus) surrounded by a crowd (good religious people) who were increasingly becoming angrier with him. Amongst them are the religious leaders (spiritual advisers and representatives of God to the people) who want nothing more than to kill Jesus. The heritage of these people did not protect them from their hypocrisy in fact it heightened it.
Does this still exist today in our Churches?
WHAT IF …?
John 8 v 33-47
How can you say that we shall be set free?’ 34 Jesus replied, ‘Very truly I tell you, everyone who sins is a slave to sin. 35 Now a slave has no permanent place in the family, but a son belongs to it for ever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know you are Abraham’s descendants. Yet you are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word. 38 I am telling you what I have seen in the Father’s presence, and you are doing what you have heard from your father.’ 39 ‘Abraham is our father,’ they answered. ‘If you were Abraham’s children,’ said Jesus, ‘then you would[c] do what Abraham did. 40 As it is, you are looking for a way to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. Abraham did not do such things. 41 You are doing the works of your own father.’ ‘We are not illegitimate children,’ they protested. ‘The only Father we have is God himself.’ 42 Jesus said to them, ‘If God were your Father, you would love me, for I have come here from God. I have not come on my own; God sent me. 43 Why is my language not clear to you? Because you are unable to hear what I say. 44 You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! 46 Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me? 47 Whoever belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.’
WHAT IF members of a Church are not members of the family of God? V35
WHAT IF those who own a Bible and have it on a shelf don’t have it in their hearts? V37
WHAT IF people sneered at a beautiful move of God in the past meaning they also missed what God was doing in the present? V41 (they were indicating questions over Jesus’ birth)
WHAT IF unkind and hurtful people in the Church were carrying out the devil’s desire? V44
WHAT IF people in the pew and behind the pulpit are not hearing what God is saying? V47