Blessed… Do As They Say…

 Then Jesus spoke to the crowds and his disciples, “The legal experts and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat. Therefore, you must take care to do everything they say. But don’t do what they do. For they tie together heavy packs that are impossible to carry. They put them on the shoulders of others, but are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do, they do to be noticed by others. They make extra-wide prayer bands for their arms and long tassels for their clothes. They love to sit in places of honor at banquets and in the synagogues. They love to be greeted with honor in the markets and to be addressed as ‘Rabbi.’ “But you shouldn’t be called Rabbibecause you have one teacher, and all of you are brothers and sisters. Don’t call anybody on earth your father, because you have one Father, who is heavenly. Don’t be called teacherbecause Christ is your one teacher. But the one who is greatest among you will be your servant. All who lift themselves up will be brought low. But all who make themselves low will be lifted up (Matthew 23:1-12, Common English Bible).

“It’s not what you say, it’s what you do.” Words along these lines are as popular today as ever. Just two chapters ago we read the “Parable of the Two Sons.” The father told one son to go work in the field. He said no and went to work anyway. The father told the second son to go work in the field. He said yes, but never went. When Jesus finished he asked his listeners who did the will of the father. The response was the first son. In other words, it is not about what you say, it is about what you do. It is what we often think. Don’t worry about what others say, worry about what they do.

Yet words are important. What we day is important. As one who essentially talks for a living, the words I say are of importance. What I say is important, at least I hope it is. My words are what I do. Yet I realize that my life has to live in parallel with what I say. My actions must live in concert with my words.

In today’s lesson Jesus is speaking to this as well. He looks and sees what the Pharisees and legal experts do in tension with what they say. Jesus tells his listeners that what the Pharisees say is correct. What they do, however, is a different story. They don’t do the very things they are telling those around them in society they should do. In essence, Jesus says he agrees with what the Pharisees and legal experts say but they do not live out the words they say.

Today we often know the Bible. We, each in our own way, interpret what Scripture says. Yet we don’t live the words we profess. This is the warning Jesus gave us in this lesson.

All too often we are worried about the letter of what Scripture says to the point we fail to love. That, is what Jesus says, more than once, the thing that is most important. When we fail to love, we make it about what we say more than what we do.

How do you live the faith as opposed to talk the faith?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thanksgiving.
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

 

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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