We are children of God, set apart from the world. Then, how must we live? We need to know who we are and what we’ve received from Christ. To live as children of God, we need to know we are children of God. The bible calls us to be the salt and light of the world but before that, we need to know who we are. To guide us, God has given us his Word to follow. The Pharisees’ knew the scripture far better than anyone else, yet they lived lives that were contrary to the gospel. Just because we know the scripture doesn’t mean we are living lives that are for God. The key is, do I really know who Christ is? As people who are living for the kingdom of God, we live waiting for the return of Christ as we share the gospel to the world. God gives us new grace everyday when we ride the flow of God’s word. Riding the flow of God’s word is like riding a wave. The Pharisees’ did everything religiously, but the Gospel has power, life-saving power.
1. The Rebellious Tenants
Jesus tells a parable about tenants who were entrusted with a vineyard by the owner. When the owner sends his servants to gather some fruit, the tenants beat and kill all of them. Ultimately, they kill the owner’s son. From the moment Adam and Eve fell to sin, God gave the gospel. However, the Israelites didn’t accept, but rejected Christ when he came. The Pharisees even realized the parable was about them. They followed everything in the old testament, but there was no life in them. We, too, have no choice but to live religious lives when we lose hold of the covenant and fail to enjoy Christ daily. Ultimately, the tenants are destroyed, as are the Pharisees. The Medieval church was also religious, and so God brought about the Reformation. In many ways, unbeknownst to us, we are living like the Pharisees. When we truly hold on to God’s word and enjoy prayer daily in your life, the rightful fruit that results is saving others’ lives. Is evangelism really taking place in your life? Is it far away from us? Then, we are living like the Pharisees. Too many of us are living like the Pharisees and are incorrectly responding to the gospel. The Pharisees seemed like such great believers. They studied the scriptures and prayed zealously, but there was no life. When people see us, do they see life? We have the complete answer to save the whole world but many of us just know it in theory, and never test it out in the world to make this answer ours.
2. The Wrong Response of the Pharisees
The Pharisees’ knew that Jesus was talking about them. The correct response should’ve been repentance. Instead, they wanted to kill Jesus, but were afraid of the crowd. How are we responding to the gospel? The Pharisees rejected Jesus, had conviction but failed to follow through. We are the same, we know Jesus and have conviction but we don’t follow through. Let’s pray that we may change when God convicts us. Let’s know who Christ is and have the right response to Christ: submitting to his authority and letting him reign over our lives. The Word of God convicts us. It reminds us: is God’s word influencing and moving our lives and relationships? Are we sensitive to God’s word? We know what we need to change but we harden our hearts.
Solomon was building the temple, and to build a building, you need a cornerstone, which will be the supporting base that holds everything together. Christ is the one who holds everything in my life together. However, the Pharisees kill God’s servants and ultimately kill his Son. We think holding on to the gospel is optional, but in doing so, we live like the Pharisees.
3. How Should I Respond to Christ?
The Pharisees didn’t respond correctly to Christ and even after Jesus revealed their spiritual state to them, they hardened their hearts. How should we respond to Christ? By embracing him into our heart, acknowledging your mistakes and weaknesses and asking for his help. The Pharisees had their past experiences and knowledge and loved their lifestyle. Reflect on your life and see if there is anything that is holding you from completely accepting Christ. We don’t want God to renovate us, because we’re afraid of losing out. What moves or excites your heart? Satan fools us into thinking we’re fine and happy as we are. Let’s correctly respond to Christ, accepting him as our master and asking him for help to change. Let’s be honest with God, telling him we were going the wrong direction, asking him to turn us around, change us so Christ may reign over us and we can live for his kingdom.
We live our lives with a purpose: to pass on the gospel legacy to our children and the world, and build God’s kingdom. What are we working for? What are we going to school for? For God’s kingdom.
Lord, you are my Christ, and my Lord. I have been going the wrong direction, living a religious life against you. We are weak and powerless and cannot change ourselves. Take control over my life and reign over my life. He is the potter and we are the clay. When we let God take complete control over our lives, we experience true comfort and joy.