When I think of what to write in this space today, the word "response" resounds in my heart. I read the other day of encounters of Christ with the Pharisees, and what stood out to me was the way they responded to Him...and the ways they pushed for a response from Him.
The Pharisees knew that some of the parables that Jesus was speaking was about them...in a negative way. Sure, they could have humbled themselves and admitted that He was right. But no. They thought it might be better to plot and plan to take Him out of the picture.
Our thoughts of the Pharisees typically shift into an autopilot mode of, "I would have never done that if I lived back then." But how do you initially react when you sit in church, and the message is stepping on your toes? I would love to say that I have always received the conviction of the Holy Spirit with grace and melted my pride down in the altar immediately. But to be honest, I have allowed my thoughts to pin the message on someone else who "needed to hear it".
There is a self-preservation that is cherished by the "Pharisee" mindset. Which is exactly what needs to be crucified. Jesus rebuked their response to John's preaching, comparing them with those who had responded correctly. He pointed out that the tax collectors and prostitutes had repented, but that they chose not to do so.
What if they had just listened and allowed the Lord to change them?
What if we would just listen and allow the Lord to change us?
I encourage you to leave your pride on the altar this morning and respond to the Lord's leading in humility. None of us have arrived, so let's submit in the process.
Father, I want to respond to You the right way. I want to always remember that You are right. That Your way is right. I choose to lay down my will and take up my cross. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Matthew 21:23 - 22:33