Rescued from Bondage…to Become Pharisaical? No!

ONE FOR ISRAEL Ministry

And when Peter came up to Jerusalem, those who were circumcised took issue with him, saying, ‘You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them'” (Acts 11:2-3). Craig Keener, New Testament scholar, points out the incredible irony of this statement on the lips of Yeshua’s disciples. A virtually identical statement had also been made by the scribes and Pharisees when they questions the Great Rabbi himself (Yeshua) when he dared sit down and eat with sinners! “When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, ‘He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner'” (Luke 19:7). Although Yeshua rescued each one of us from the bondage of burdensome religiosity (compare Matt 11:28-30 with 23:4), slowly and over time our walk with him can easily turn into a new form of Messianic Jewish Pharisaism. Where once our prayers were, “God, be merciful to me, the sinner!” (Luke 18:13), now they have become, “God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector” (Luke 18:11). God, please forgive me for being quick to judge my brothers and sisters. Please give me a faith that drives me to, and not away from, people whom every other religion on the planet would never dare to love or accept! Please make me more and more like my Rabbi. “Both the Pharisees and the scribes began to grumble, saying, ‘This man receives sinners and eats with them'” (Luke 15:2).

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