John Michael Talbot was one of the early musicians I listened to back in the 1980’s. I was fascinated to see his Facebook page!
One of the quotes on John Michael Talbot‘s Facebook page recently was this:
Luke 11:42-46 “Often we are like the lawyers who say when Jesus attacks the Pharisees, “Surely you do not mean us too?” He then turns on them to list their sins as religious leaders. The Pharisees wanted to look religious and get respect for their religion without understanding the spiritual heart of religion. Similarly, the Lawyers placed unnecessary religious ritual burdens on people they did not seek to relieve in favor of real spirituality. Sometimes we do the same in the Church. Do we sometimes say to Jesus, “Surely you do not mean us too?” Sorry, but sometimes He does!”
These thoughts express the reasons I began repenting a lot this year. This year, I realized I had become one of the dreaded Pharisees I had criticized in Bible studies for two decades. I had come to find comfort in the fact that I was not as bad as the Pharisees. I cherished the comfort I found in my own piety. I justified my thinking, my actions and my beliefs. I became so proud of the organization I belonged to, only to turn around and see Jesus looking at me and speaking the words of Luke 11:42-46.
42 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you give God a tenth of your mint, rue and all other kinds of garden herbs, but you neglect justice and the love of God. You should have practiced the latter without leaving the former undone.
43 “Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the most important seats in the synagogues and respectful greetings in the marketplaces.
44 “Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which people walk over without knowing it.”
45 One of the experts in the law answered him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us also.”
46 Jesus replied, “And you experts in the law, woe to you, because you load people down with burdens they can hardly carry, and you yourselves will not lift one finger to help them.