The Heart of the Gospel

Just another one. Something to think about, go hmmm about, put in your theological pipe (so to speak).  Are there holes in this one?  Yeah there are in everything that I write.  But so what, they’re just thoughts and things to think about and question and disagree with (if you want to be wrong) or agree with (if you want to be right). 🙂  Kidding, kidding. 

Remember that time Jesus found that guy or girl and they were engaged in that sin?

I believe it was sin A or maybe it was sin B.

Remember His reaction?

How he was incredulous about their behavior?

Remember the Bible using not only red letters to show that he was speaking, but using ALL CAPS TO SHOW JUST HOW MAD HE WAS?

Remember Jesus not only calling them out forcibly, but actually calling the sinners devils, in fact he made it even more specific and called them Satan?

Remember that?

Yeah. Me neither.

But I do remember Jesus having some harsh words for religious leaders.

  • “But woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites!” (Matthew 23:13)
  • “Woe to you, blind guides…” (Matthew 23:18)
  • “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil?” (Matthew 12:34)

I also remember that time Jesus had a harsh reaction to religious people in the temple.

  • “And Jesus entered the temple sand drove out all who sold and brought in the temple, and he overturned the tables of the money-changers and the seats of those who sold pigeons.” (Matthew 21:12)

I remember Jesus calling out his disciples for their lack of faith and he wasn’t nice about it.

  • “O unbelieving and perverse generation,” Jesus replied, “how long shall I stay with you and put up with you?” (Luke 9:41)

And there was this one time Jesus called one of this followers Satan.

  • “Jesus turned and said to Peter, “Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the concerns of God, but merely human concerns.”” (Matthew 16:23)

In fact, here are a few of the words Jesus used for his followers and the religious leaders of his day:

Whited sepulchers

Fools

Blind guides

Hypocrites

Serpents

Murderers

A generation of vipers

And more.

Yes. Sin is sin.

Yes it separates us from God.

Yes. Jesus is the way the truth and the light and NO ONE comes to the Father except through Him (John 14:6).

And our job – is to model Jesus and recreate what He did when He came in contact with sinners, with the lost, with the hurting.

He showed grace and mercy.

Jesus showed love and compassion on those who were lost.

He saved his harshest words for the religious leaders and his followers.

We have the Gospel – which is good news.

Telling someone who is lost and hurting that they are Satan is not good news.

Telling them about the love and grace of our Savior is.

If you want to call someone Satan or get in someone’s face or get angry about something – do it to other believers who are missing the heart of the Gospel.

That’s what Jesus did.

He offered grace and mercy to the lost and hurting.

And he offered chastisement and tough words to believers who were missing that heart.

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