Jesus and Religion

A reading for Wednesday, October 29, 2014: Luke 11:37-52.

The Pharisees had developed a whole ritual system of washing before meals. It was part of the way they observed the law, and they were very proud of it. So proud in fact that they could not imagine why Jesus would not want to participate. They assume that their way is right for everyone...

Jesus isn't opposed to the practice of the law. There are many places in scripture where Jesus instructs followers to pay attention to the Word of God. Perhaps Jesus is frustrated with the pride of the Pharisees assuming that their way was the only way to be faithful. It was no longer faith in practice, but had become cultural arrogance.

How much of our observance of faith is pride and cultural arrogance? Do we assume our way of doing church is the only way to really be faithful? Can we make room for others to follow Jesus, to observe justice and to honor God in another way?

Sometimes this passage of scripture is used by folks to justify why they don't participate in "organized religion." This is the so-called "I love Jesus but not religion crowd." However, Jesus is not condemning all ritual observance of the law, just the prideful, arrogant type. Jesus has a problem with religion when it's phony and hypocritical. Be advised...


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