August 21, Saturday

UPDATEDToday’s Spiritual Food for Thought was first posted on August 18, 2013.

Spiritual Food for Thought for the Weekend

“What We Can Learn from the Pharisees”

Luke 5:33-39

And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.” 34 And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom is with them? 35 The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.” 36 He also told them a parable: “No one tears a piece from a new garment and puts it on an old garment. If he does, he will tear the new, and the piece from the new will not match the old. 37 And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. If he does, the new wine will burst the skins and it will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed. 38 But new wine must be put into fresh wineskins. 39 And no one after drinking old wine desires new, for he says, ‘The old is good.’”

There are two issues that rise from the way the Pharisees tried to deal with Jesus.

First, recall that the Pharisees took issue with Jesus for not fasting.  Jesus’ earthly ministry, however, was a time of joy and celebration even as he steadily mentioned what would happen through the cross and resurrection.  While it would be a time of abundance and harvest spiritually (John 4:35-37; 12:32-33), Jesus Himself (the bridegroom) would be taken away from them; this, then, would be a time of fasting and serving the Lord by proclaiming the good news.  

We, too, must seize the opportunity, for John 9:4-5 states, “We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” Are you still holding on to worldly expectations, values, and human traditions, not knowing that we need to understand the time in which we live in?  Be alert; understand God’s time.   

Another matter our text calls us to consider is this: Why do some people (like the Pharisees) try to understand God’s word yet fail to obey Him once they understand it?  Perhaps they are simply adding Jesus to their present way of life as one of the options in reaching their goals, instead of allowing Christ to transform their ways and goals. 

Are you still trying to fit Christ into your old way of life? Spend some time in prayer and reflect upon those areas in your life that you need to let go so that Christ may reign in you.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, help me to love You, not out of pharisaic legalism but because I truly appreciate all that You have done for me, beginning with the cross.  Thank You.  Amen.

Bible Reading for Today: Revelation 21-22

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