Matt 5 Indictment Response – Part 4
One of the things we learn from Jesus is that He always took advantage of the opportunities God the Father gave him to “go and make disciples.” So in the chapter on the Beatitudes we see him calling his disciples to himself to teach them. As He taught he used examples of real life to show them that to just know the gospel is not enough. You need to live the gospel to make it relevant to the society in which you find yourself and that same principle is true today if you want to not only to make disciples but to ensure that they will carry on long after you are gone and/or go and make their own disciples.
In a recent book titled “Nomad” written by Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who has left Islam, she indicts Christianity, She indicates that Christianity is even now failing because the followers of Christ only think the Bible is a book of parables that do not need to be obeyed. We need to address her indictment. We need to sit up and take note of what Jesus said to his disciples as he sat on the mountain side. Jesus said we are only blessed if we know AND also obey. We are to be salt (preservative) and light (illumination) of the Heavenly Father. But, if we look about us we see, as she did, those who call themselves Christians having the law yet refusing to obey it. Jesus said if your righteousness doesn’t exceed beyond this you will never enter the kingdom!
So what was Miss Ali saying in her indictment of Christianity? First, just as in the days of Jesus, there are those who live by every jot and tittle of the law but do not obey the principles of it; second there are those who wipe away the principle to make others feel accepted. Jesus is saying if we break one of the least of these commands to be salt and light, to be meek, yet do not mourn over sinful habits then we are no better than the experts in the Law who knew God’s Law but did not live by it. The Pharisees knew it also but used it as a leveraging club over men to get them to obey just as Islam does today. Both Miss Ali and Jesus are saying woe to you who live by the letter but not by the heart.
Jesus says, you know the truth of do not murder yet you murder when you are angry with another. You make a covenant to love and honor your wife “until death do you part” yet you put that aside to divorce her. Again just as in the day of Jesus, we quote “you shall have no other gods before Me” yet we choose to live an adulterous life when we take our eyes off the woman God has given us and look with longing at another. We quote the verse “love thy neighbor” yet we won’t give up our cloak to cover him when there is a need. Woe to each one of us.
Truly James was right, the world does not know us and therefore does not know the one we call Savior because our walk and talk do harmonize.