It’s about the Heart: Pt1 (Mt 15:1-28)
Three conversations were carried out by Jesus in Ch.15. The first was with the Pharisees and some teachers of the Law with a crowd listening in. The second with His Disciples, Peter in particular. The final was with a Canaanite woman. In all three, Jesus was looking into the heart condition of those He spoke with, in particular, their attitude toward Him and God the Father.
Through these interactions, we can see the difference between what man usually makes important in his worship of God verses what God is looking to blossom in our lives and therefore our worship of Him. We’ll see that Jesus taught those around Him to seek Truth not in the easy passive way that has become so prevalent in the dying branches of the Church. Finally, we’ll see how the heart of God can be moved by those truly hungry for Him.
We’ll look at the first of these today and the next two tomorrow…
1. Matt. 15:1-11
The key verses to notice are 8-9.
“These people honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. 9They worship me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.” (Mt 15:8-9 NIV)
In another conversation with a Samaritan woman by the well in John 4:4-26, Jesus shares the concept of worshipping God in spirit and truth. Here, truth is not about doctrine or rules of dos and don’ts, but rather the reality of the Kingdom.
In this conversation, the religious leadership accused Jesus and His followers of not abiding their way of worship and honoring God. They were looking merely at the appearance of things. Jesus easily discerned that they were not one heart with Him, but were instead full of suspicion and distrust. They were looking for any fault that they might impose on Him their own ways.
Jesus had nothing to do with this approach. Instead, He exposed it instantly and pointed to the core of the issue: they had a heart problem with Him. He then made a public declaration in order to make everyone aware of the righteous standard He holds to.
As His disciples, we are instructed to do the same.
“Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.” (Eph 5:11 NIV)
What are we missing here? We’ld love your input!
Photo credit: magic4hire1969