Jesus was invited to dine in the home of a Pharisee, but instead of the ceremonial washing prior to the meal, Jesus simply proceeded to the table.
The Pharisee was amazed and, I’m guessing, displeased that Jesus didn’t follow the ceremonial Jewish custom. After all, if Jesus was who he claimed to be, surely, he would know and respect the laws of Moses!
Jesus didn’t defend his lack of washing nor did he try to explain his reasons. Instead, he began to chastise them for some of their own behaviours, perfectly following the letter of the law, but failing miserably at following the spirit of the law.
Would Jesus do the same today if he came to our church? Would Jesus see us truly loving each other? Or would he see how we create barriers by demanding certain things from people, things like dressing like we do, worshipping like we do, talking like we do, before we truly accept them? I know I’ve been guilty of doing the right thing with the wrong motive.
Today, God, help us to live out what you intended in your command to us, to deeply love you and effectively love others. Amen. — KGT