During his ministry on earth, Jesus knew he not only had to reveal God to men, But he also needed to help them to distinguish between following a rule and following the Ruler! The religious leaders of the day were all about following the rules–they took God’s 10 commandments and clarified them into hundreds of rules and regulations. It was not that the law was at fault, it was that the people lost complete sight of God, because of their myopic focus on the law.
It broke God’s heart–He called Israel to be a kingdom of priests. They were to be committed to the proposition that the God of Israel would become the Lord of all. Jesus came to refocus people on the ruler, not the rules. As he slowly worked to shift the paradigm, the religious elite became jealous, fearful, resentful and territorial. They grew more intent by the day of taking this Jesus out of their religion. It was the most visible expression of what the nation had done for generations.
Not so surprising, we see the same thing today. The mainline religions and denominations have systematically taken Christ out of the church and God out of Christianity. They replace Him with relativism and issues of the day–but, refuse to stand for the basic principles of faith, family and community. That is why this is known as the post-modern christian era. The great news is that while the church has moved away from Christ–Christ remains the same, and continues to call us to focus on the Ruler and allow the rules to take care of themselves.
God Bless You
As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.
10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?”
12 On hearing this, Jesus said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”
Jesus Questioned About Fasting
14 Then John’s disciples came and asked him, “How is it that we and the Pharisees fast often, but your disciples do not fast?”
15 Jesus answered, “How can the guests of the bridegroom mourn while he is with them? The time will come when the bridegroom will be taken from them; then they will fast.
16 “No one sews a patch of unshrunk cloth on an old garment, for the patch will pull away from the garment, making the tear worse. 17 Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”