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Author Topic: Zeal For The Truth  (Read 681 times)

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Offline pointmade

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Zeal For The Truth
« on: November 07, 2010, 07:33:45 AM »
There is a profound teaching in Matthew 15:1ff about the "teachings of men". It grieved the disciples that Jesus had offended the reverend men from Jerusalem about their teaching: "washing hands before eating."

He charged these devout theologians with hypocrisy. Jesus showed that their tradition, which they reverenced as a revelation from God, led them into sin, and he disturbed their self complacency by showing that the ceremonial cleanness, which was founded on tradition, and in which they prided themselves, was worthless in comparison with the moral cleanness, required by God's law, which they ignored.

In verses 13-14 Jesus informs us that every plant His heavenly Father did not plant would be rooted up.
God had planted the law with its doctrine: he had planted the Hebrew religion as given by Moses. He had not planted the tradition of the elders; so it, and the religion founded upon it, was doomed to be rooted up.

Jesus makes a statement that has been bounced off the walls of most theological institutions in defense of their soteriology:  
"Let them alone: they be blind leaders of the blind. And if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall in the pit." Jesus, is here teaching that the disciple could expect to attain no higher felicity than his teacher. The words of Jesus are full of encouragement to those who adhere to the simple teachings of God; for his words here show that God guarantees that every error shall be uprooted, and every teacher of error or false religion shall participate in the judgment which uproots, and shall fall into the pit of ruin; and his disciples, no matter how numerous, shall share his fate.

Peter, in verse 15 asks for an interpretation of "this parable." I note that Jesus never calls his words here a parable. Peter is asking about Jesus' words in verse 11. "Not that which goes into the mouth defiles a man; but that which comes out of the mouth, this defiles a man."

The Pharisees had erred in confusing legal and spiritual defilement, and had added error to error by multiplying the cause of defilement in their tradition.

Question to you teachers of the higher persuasion.....In this teaching of Jesus in Matthew 15, is He speaking to a Jewish audience and referring to the destruction of Jerusalem as the "pit of ruin"? Are the "teachers" the Jewish leaders who would lead their disciples into it? Did God uproot their system of tradition or not? Was the pure gospel sowed in the room which they occupied?

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Zeal For The Truth
« on: November 07, 2010, 07:33:45 AM »

Offline marc

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Re: Zeal For The Truth
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2010, 02:24:39 PM »
As Pogo might have said, I have met the Pharisee, and he is us.

What we often miss is that Jesus didn't contrast the Pharisees laws with the 'correct' laws, but rather with a concern for people. See Matthew 12. While Jesus' disciples weren't really violating God's law by picking grain on the Sabbath, David's men were violating God's law by eating the shewbread.

Three things strike me about this:

1. Jesus' disciples picked the fight. They intentionally walked right into the field and chowed down.

2. Jesus' intentionally brought a real violation of the Law into the story instead of just pointing out the Pharisees were making up their own rules.

3. He nailed down his point by healing a man the Pharisees dared him to heal--in their synagogue--and this action eventually led to His death.

This was perhaps Jesus' starkest teaching of this consistent lesson from throughout his ministry. If we consider law greater than people, whether its our law or God's law, even, we're missing the point. God desires mercy rather than sacrifice. Have we yet learned what this means?

That's the truth we should be zealous for. Truth isn't a set of rules, but rather a way of life embodied by The Truth, Jesus Christ.
Never lose an opportunity of seeing anything beautiful, for beauty is God's handwriting.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

'where God tears great gaps we should not try to fill them with human words. They should remain open'   D Bonhoeffer.

T.S. Eliot was an optimist.

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Re: Zeal For The Truth
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2010, 02:24:39 PM »

Offline Norton

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Re: Zeal For The Truth
« Reply #2 on: November 08, 2010, 03:13:54 PM »

Good remarks.

For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say \"No\" to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age