Many of the religious leaders of Jesus day put all the emphasis on the outside. They judged a person devotion to God based on external performance, observance of religious ritual, and rule keeping. Jesus sees all the way past the pristine outward performance to the wickedness of their hearts…and he calls it out. He challenges the traditional way people related to God, practiced their faith, and approached worship. Everything he says is counterintuitive and counter cultural. He turns it all inside out. Their focus was on the outside and Jesus says…No…the inside is what matters and if you let God transform your heart…your core…the outside will take care of itself. It all begins with the work God does IN us…and then what He does in us comes THROUGH us.
There are certain things we’ve simply accepted. We live our whole lives as if they are true. We pass them onto our kids, and they are reinforced by the people around us. We’re all told some of the same things, and so it must be true. And we end up spending our lives pouring hydrogen peroxide on our wounds and living with panic attacks because we swallowed a watermelon seed. These kinds of things are funny to talk about….but what if we’ve accepted some things that have more significant implications for lives? What if we have gone along with some things that are not found in scripture? What if we’ve believed some things because we’ve been told them and it’s been reinforced by the culture around us…and what if going along with these things have dire ramifications in our life? If you study the ministry of Jesus, here’s what you’ll find: He spent a significant amount of His time debunking the myths that people had been taught about God and about faith. You will often read where he says…You have heard it said…but I say unto you…He does this over and over again about several things. You’ve heard it said this way, but I’m going to tell you something different. I know you’ve been taught to look at it this way; but I’m going to give you a new way to look at it.”
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