I spoke this week in our weekly chapel service at InterVarsity, about Jesus’ harsh words to legalistic Pharisees in Matthew. Tune in for a poem, some personal confession, and some serious questions for myself and the people with whom I work.
The executive summary:
Jesus often spoke very harshly to Pharisees, teachers of the law, and scribes. People (like me) in full-time Christian work for churches and non-profits occupy the same space in society as the Pharisees did back then. Therefore, we should read those hard passages carefully and consider what they mean for us. I looked at Matthew 23, a scathing monologue directed at the Pharisees.
I struggle in this personally: a desire for recognition, wasting people’s time with off-the-wall ideas, pushing forward my preferences rather than actual inspiration, focusing on my little tasks rather than the epic vision, hiding (rather than dealing with) my deficiencies…
And I ask some hard questions of my colleagues in InterVarsity:
Are we closing the door of God’s kingdom in people’s faces, like Jesus said the Pharisees did?
Are we pushing “InterVarsity culture” or “Jesus culture”?
How do we “strain a gnat and swallow a camel”?
Are we dealing with our own selfishness and wickedness?
How do we receive our critics (prophets, wise people, teachers)?
Take a listen and let me know what you think.