So, I was reading Mark 2 and I noticed the way that Jesus deliberately provoked the religious leaders in the first three accounts that we read there.
First he tells someone their sins are forgiven which leaves the teachers of the law furious because only God could forgive sins.
Next he associates with a tax collector and sinner and even calls him to be his disciple. The Pharisees are outraged that Jesus openly associates with such sinful people.
Then, Jesus doesn’t make his disciples fast when the disciples of the Pharisees and John were fasting. Jesus doesn’t feel the need to conform with the religious custom that was being observed at that time.
When Jesus is asked why, he explains that his is a new type of ministry.
22 “And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins.”
We may no be so familiar with wineskins, but Jesus’ meaning is clear. If God is going to do something new, then we need to be open to change in order to be a part of the new way of ministering for or serving God.
Are we like the Pharisees who are locked into the way that we have always done things or are we open to being provoked by Jesus?
Jesus wasn’t provocative or controversial for the sake of it, he was making some serious points:
1. He was saying that he is God.
2. He was reminding us that we come to him as sinners that need saving. Jesus shows us that we can be imperfect and still be accepted by God :).
3. Following God’s leading into new thing is more important than following a religious custom.
If you are a Christian, ask yourself when the last time was that you felt provoked by Jesus. If it has been a while, perhaps you are more Pharisaical than you think?
If you want to think about this some more then you might want to read Jesus said something but I couldn’t remember what.