In this Sunday’s Scripture from Matthew, Jesus is hammering the scribes and Pharisees, but what He says is just as relevant to us today: And that is “it’s not about me.”
His statements focus on all the ways religion can morph into something
that is more about elevating ourselves, taking ourselves more seriously
and God less seriously.
To make it about us is to hijack the message of Jesus
and turn it into a narcissistic cult.
And that’s the very opposite of the faith that Jesus teaches.
It’s not about us.
It’s not about accumulating wealth nor stability for ourselves,
it’s about us loving God and our neighbor with all we have and with all we are.
One of the things that concerns me about the Church and the Christian Faith today, is the foundation of selfishness that has become a core principle. As if what Jesus wants us to be centrally concerned with is finding more and more ways for us to be happy, successful, and
“become a better you.”
Now, I DO think that Jesus wants us to be people who are filled-to-overflowing with joy and be the best person we can be…but it’s not supposed to be something that we’re spending time focusing on. It is instead a by -product of our relationship with Christ and knowing His love. A by-product of bringing others joy. A by-product of helping others live fully devoted lives to Christ. And, the thing is, that if others are living that kind of life along with us, while we’re focusing on their growth, they will be looking after our growth.
When the Christian faith is really and truly lived out in community everyone is a winner, and God is praised and exalted. But, when our first inclination in to isolate ourselves in our own cares
and concerns, and take care of “#1” first and foremost, we actually all lose a lot.
The faith of Jesus that was manifest—not in serving Himself, or looking after his own self-preservation or happiness—but the faith of Jesus that was manifest on the cross, just a few days after Jesus said these words in Matthew 23.
He didn’t just criticize the faith of the scribes and Pharisees with words, he showed them, and us, what real love, humility, and service looks like.
This Sunday we will dig deeper into Matthew 23:1-12 and as always, prayer is the greatest power we have, so each Sunday at 9:00 we join together to pray for the service and all those who will be there, and you are welcome to join us.