Hello Pharisees!

Are you a “Jerk for Jesus”?
A positive greeting…or more of a slam? What caused the highest compliment before Jesus time to become the worst slam??

Today in church, the guest speaker, Dale Oquist, opened by saying just that: “Hello Pharisee’s!” He went on to deliver an UNBELIEVABLE message that I must get out there. It is how I have felt every day for at least 3 or 4 years now and haven’t been able to put in words like this. Probably because I was looking for my words not just using THE WORD as he did so well! Many of you will love this as you read book after book about the shift that is needed in the church, in religion, or in the Christian community. I took notes as fast as I could type on my blackberry:

The History: In 175 BC- Pharisee training began. Jewish men rose up to follow the Word of God. They studied and followed 613 laws of Judaism. There were 100’s of Pharisees but it took a lot to become one-they were elite people!

Characteristics of a Pharisee in the 1st Century:
1. Hunger for God’s Word
2. Passion for God’s Glory (to make Him look good)
3. Zeal to share Him with others (they didn’t have to be pushed to share-the book of John referenced, “you will go over sea and land to convert just one”)
4. Committed to Spiritual disciplines, people of prayer and tithes.
5. Obsession with holiness, didn’t want to be defiled (to be a Pharisee meant to be pure and separate)

We know they changed because in
Matthew 22 and 23 Jesus says, “Woe to you Pharisees…..”

So what happened?
In Revelation 2: “To the angel of the church of Ephesus (Present day Turkey).
I know your deeds and hard work and perseverance, you can’t tolerate evil people, you have persevered with patience, endured hardships, not grown weary….” This was a strong solid church. The setting was during a generation of idolatry in a pagan culture. Yet, Jesus says in verse 4, “Nevertheless, I have this against you, that you have left your first love. You have fallen, repent, or I will remove my lampstand from you”.

They hadn’t lost passion or zeal and
He wasn’t talking about them losing excitement. He was talking about their humility and love for others….their care for the ones who hadn’t met Jesus yet.

Present day example:
“If you go to lunch with a person and they are nice to you at the table but rude to the waiter-they are not a nice person!” Pharisees know all about church and law but they become Jerks for Jesus!

Truth without grace mixed in….not attractive. A Bible scholar who is jerk to others is a bad theologian.

They equate loving someone with approving with how they live. Don’t we too, DAILY?!!

Rom 12-9: says, “Let love be without hypocrisy”.

Mark 5:24 (my cliff notes version): A large crowd pressed thru to Jesus. Woman bleeding for years, touched His cloak, He felt power go out, “who touched”, He asked. He looked to see who and woman came and fell at His feet. She trembled with fear and told Him it was her.

Why was she trembling with fear?

Reason: She knew Leviticus 15: Jewish law said she was defiled (impure), if impure touched pure-they would make them impure (defile them). She has defiled a Holy man! If Jesus were a Pharisee, how would He react? He would scold her! And say, “Now I have to go through the purification process, get her out of my sight!”

Jesus said, “daughter your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be free from your suffering”.

The uncontaminated cleansed the contaminated…flow is different with Jesus.

Holiness is so strong that the power of His purity cleanses us. We think the world can pollute us. “Secular music will defile me, I can’t have anything to do with those kind of people”! We separate ourselves out so far from the world.

In Mark 7:6 Jesus said, “Isaiah was right; “They honor me with their lips but their heart is far from me, and in vain they worship me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.” They laid asside THE Commandment of God to merely hold to human rules and traditions! “The more religious you act, the more evil you become,” He continued. “Listen to me, Jesus said, “nothing outside you can defile you! It is what comes out of you that defiles you! It’s what’s in your heart that comes out that defiles you”….being a Jerk for Jesus.

“You take your traditions and call them Mine! They are not”. How many of us idolize our traditions and our families preferences and call them God’s!?!
(See the, Taking the Lord’s name in Vain chapter in Shawn’s book, “Cracking the Commandments” downloadable soon at www.ShawnHennessy.com)

The delima is solved by:
1 Cor. 13: “If I speak in human or angelic tongues but do not have [agape] love,” (unconditional love), I am only a jerk for Jesus. “If I have the gift of prophecy and know it all…but don’t have love,” I’m a jerk for Jesus. “If I have faith and give all to the poor, but no love” I’m a jerk for Jesus!

You can have an answer for every theological question yet if you write them off if they don’t believe as you do, you are a Jerk for Jesus. We think if the way others vote is different from us, it is WRONG and struggle with them.

And then think God loves us more for doing these things.

We think, “If you woulda just done what I did, you wouldn’t be in this mess”! (in a condescending tone).

He cleansed 10 lepers when only 1 said thanks. It is just what Jesus does.

In the story of the prodigal son, the elder party is harder to convert than the lost Son. Have you left your first love (agape) unconditional love? If you don’t repent, you are in danger. We got more arrogant and don’t even know it.

Pan back to see the bigger picture to see how far you have fallen to see what you have become.

Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry


About Sonny Hennessy

PR, Marketing, Future Church Planter Coffee....yes please! View all posts by Sonny Hennessy

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