Scripture from Aarti this morning
Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.
This is a very interesting part of the story of Jesus’ life because it involves incidents where he ‘authorised’ his disciples to break with the established traditions. This of course annoyed the ‘authorities’. And the cultural and religious authorities at that time were one and the same. So they took him up on it, in public, confident that they had the weight of ‘morality’ and ‘correct behavior’ and ‘the non-negotiable strictures of prescribed, scripture-backed conduct’ on their side.
Two observations: give the religious-minded enough rope and they soon want to be the cultural policemen. They sublimate their religious streaks by dabbling (mild word there) in the culture. When they get the culture to where they think it should be, their religious graspings seem placated. Soon enough, in a situation like this, the culture becomes the religion. God is forgotten and the God-enforcers are the law.*
But the isagogics aside, there is a principle here, a deeply personal one, that bears a bit of private consideration.
Which part of the fabulous provisions of God for YOU in this grace age have you rendered to be ‘of none effect’ because of YOUR personal religious or intellectual or cultural tradition?
Perhaps you were brought up in not so wealthy circumstances. Are you still hanging on to the coarser edges of your personality and denying the quiet and stillness of the Holy Spirit?
Perhaps you were brought up well-off. Are you still hanging on to the genteel edges of your personality and denying yourself the quickening of the Holy Spirit?
Perhaps you did not have much of a formal education. Are you still hanging on to the emotional side of your personality and denying yourself the satisfaction of a measured, diligent study of the word of God?
Perhaps you are an educated individual. Are you denying yourself the adventure of being a fool for Christ?
It wasn’t just the religious police of that time. There is a religious and cultural policeman inside you, a well-disguised spiritual gestapo who is a poisonous and corrosive presence.
Let us consider: how many of us have denied the miraculous provisions of God because we don’t quite like the idea of miracles? We find them too sensational, too controversial, too irrational, too illogical, too unscientific, too disruptive, you see.
1 Corinthians 2:9 “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
Lewis Sperry Chafer said that this is for the Grace Age, not any other time.
Have our eyes seen such ‘things’? Have our ears heard such ‘things’? Has it entered into our hearts such ‘things’?
There’s nothing wrong with our eyes and ears and hearts …. something is terribly lacking in our love of Him.
How then should we love Him?
Luke 10:27: “And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.”
*Of course, a culture is nothing but a manifestation of the philosophy that is currently in power. Nothing wrong with culture per se. There will always be a culture. I submit Heaven has a culture too, and scripture is very clear about that. Bad values = bad culture. Good values = good culture.