Luke 11:37-41 The Things That Matter Most
After Jesus had spoken, a Pharisee invited him to dine at his home. He entered and reclined at table to eat. The Pharisee was amazed to see that he did not observe the prescribed washing before the meal. The Lord said to him, “Oh you Pharisees! Although you cleanse the outside of the cup and dish, inside you are filled with plunder and evil….Did not the maker of the outside also make the inside?”
God loves us just the way we are. Although I may disagree with most people who love to say this, I have to admit I disagree with them not because of what they say but because they “know not what they are saying.” Yes, the Lord loves us “just the way we are”. But if this is true, then why did the Lord admonish his host? Why not just ignore him? If I can’t say a kind word, then I shouldn’t say anything, correct? And besides, the poor Pharisee didn’t even express his astonishment to Jesus. Why all the fuss?
Yes, I agree, the Lord loves us “just the way we are”. In fact, He loves us enough to die for us. But that does not mean He doesn’t expect much more from us, especially after He died for us.
Jesus loves the Pharisee enough not only to die for Him but to correct him as well. Love is not blind to error or sin. It does not ignore one’s faults or even one’s sins. The Lover is allowed to correct the beloved, and leaves room to be corrected himself.
It is not wrong for a mother and father to say to their child, “I will always love you no matter what you do.” But it would be seriously wrong for a mom and dad to never teach their child right from wrong.
Today, applauses, ribbons, certificates and trophies are given out like assorted candy. Everyone gets one, regardless of how well they did or how much effort they put in. Every time we congratulate a student on their poor performance we’re not only lying to them but teaching them how to lie.
Yes, parents and teachers should love their children and students just the way they are, but that doesn’t mean they have to lie to them. It takes faith, not lies, to love someone. “Faith working through love” is what matters most (cf. Gal. 5:6).
My country right or wrong. Americans were not the first to use this slogan during the Vietnam War. The British were, sometime in the 19th century, and during a war. It is not an easily understood slogan. It can easily turn the patriot into a real traitor. After all, if someone loves their country enough to allow it to go down the wrong path, then (sorry) he is not a patriot, he is a traitor. I love my country very much, enough to warn it or stop it from going down the wrong path!
Not too long ago, I got into an argument with a very holy woman who happens to be a Democrat and a very good friend (at least I think so). She was trying to convince me that the Republicans were politicizing the tragic death of our Ambassador and three other Americans in Libya. For her, this tragic incident was becoming a political issue, and the main reason for all the conservative media’s attention.
My perspective is very different. I told her that this tragedy will not go away not because Republicans keep bringing it up but because terrorists keep bringing it on, especially every 9/11. Aren’t the terrorists constantly reminding us where there is a lack of security? Aren’t they reminding us that the war on terrorism is far from over? The Islamic world, especially in the Middle East, does not join us in mourning the loss of life on 9/11. Instead, they continue to pick at our wound or open up a new one every 9/11. The war on terrorism is far from being over. And there is fear in admitting this. It will take at least a century for this war to end because we refuse to attack the source of the problem: Radical Islamic preaching.
I love my country, right or wrong, but love doesn't hide the issues, it brings them out, into the light.
Everyone who loves life, their country, their family and their neighbor must speak up about what matters most. It takes a lot of courage to love everyone just the way they are. It takes a great deal of faith to love them even more.