How often do we become the hypocrisy of the church? Do we follow the teachings of Jesus or seek to be a self righteous people? Does our fear of being wrong dictate how we react to others and their actions?
John 7: 19-24
19 “Did not Moses give you the Law, and yet none of you carries out the Law? Why do youseek to kill Me?” 20 The crowd answered, “You have a demon! Who seeks to kill You?”21 Jesus answered them, “I did one deed, and you all marvel. 22 For this reason Moses has given you circumcision (not because it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and on the Sabbath you circumcise a man. 23 If a man receives circumcision on the Sabbath so that the Law of Moses will not be broken, are you angry with Me because I made an entire man well on the Sabbath? 24 Do not judge according to appearance, but judge with righteous judgment.”
The discourse here is in direct relation to the story of Jesus the Ultimate Healer. He is exposing their hypocrisy here that they have become so concerned with the laws of a regular man (Moses) and they still break it for the betterment of society (such as circumcising someone on the Sabbath) but they are condemning Jesus for healing a man on the Sabbath.
Now, in reading the story of this man and his healing by Jesus, we learn that others sought to catch Him in some sort of wrong doing, which is why they were trying to call Him out in the first place. They are so wrapped up in their own self righteousness that they are neglecting the fact that a sick man was healed. How often do we do this? We get so caught up in someone doing something “right or wrong” that we completely ignore the bigger picture. We are so adamant about proving our own righteousness and defending our beliefs that we lose sight of the heart behind it and rather focus on the rules and actions themselves.
We defend our own positions (even when we don’t have to) for fear of being wrong. How often do we shake our heads, turn our backs, or even condemn someone because they are “wrong”. That would be just like walking by this sick man 1) because he is sick 2) because it’s “the Sabbath” and we aren’t supposed to do anything about it because of our man made rules of piety and righteousness.
Once we fully understand that our righteousness is not of what we do or don’t do, but rather from God alone, then does it matter what day we help someone or which church service we attend? Does it truly matter what we wear to church or what type of vehicle we ride (shout out to the bikers in the church parking lot!). It certainly doesn’t! And since it doesn’t why do we still try to judge people that way? Judgment isn’t up to us, but to God.
To put it in reverse, how about those of us who wear sandals and shorts to church and scoff at the guy in the suit? What about the biker group that shows up for support when the Pagans lose a member of their club? What about the family that takes in a drunkard off the street to feed and clothe him? Are they wrong for their association or are they loving unconditionally as Christ calls us to love? Do we set out to prove that God doesn’t love us because we cannot seem to accept His love in the first place?
Sometimes we put so much energy into trying to prove something wrong that we ignore the obvious signs that it is right.