January 8 – Gospel Readthrough – Matthew 12

Read Matthew 12:1-50

Jesus > Religion

This phrase graced the screen at the beginning of a video that now has 34.8 million views on YouTube. A guy named Jeff performed a 4-minute spoken word describing the relationship, or lack thereof, of Jesus and religion:

“Religion says, ‘Do’. Jesus says ‘Done’”

This was a very tough pill for the people of Jesus’ time to swallow and was normally at the center of the conflict that Jesus experienced during His earthly ministry. The religious leaders at the time were so focused on the Old Testament law that they completely overlooked the fulfillment of that law that was standing right in front of them.

Often, we, as Christians, can get so bogged down with “do’s” and “don’ts” that we can completely miss the point. It can be frustrating when you read the gospels, on how much the religious leaders of the day did just that. Jesus would heal someone and immediately His life would be in danger. He would speak out against them and, instead of taking the constructive criticism, they would conspire to kill Him.

How often do you find yourself focusing on stuff that doesn’t matter? The Pharisees were just so blinded by the law that they overlooked the life change which was happening right in front of them! When reading the gospels, I often get frustrated by how blind the Pharisees were by hate and disagreement that they never grasped the truth.

“[The Church] isn’t a museum for good people, it’s a hospital for the broken.”

If you’re honest with yourself, how often do you find your faith in something that you can physically do? Do you think that reading your Bible, not cussing and going to church secures for you eternal life? No. Good fruit comes as a result of being grafted into Christ. These actions that we do in obedience come as a result of a changed heart.

When you think about it, do you get caught up in the “to do’s” of Christianity so much so that you find yourself blind to the reason behind them?

There’s nothing we can do to deserve the grace that we have been given through Christ. There is nothing we can read, nothing we can do and nothing that we can say that will put us in right standing with God. We were justified when Jesus died on the cross for our sins and rose from the grave a few days later, thus conquering death.

As you continue to read through Matthew and, in the future, through the rest of the gospels, this “Religion v Relationship” is a common theme that you will read about.

What about you?

In what ways do you need to overcome the “religion” in your life? In what way are you just going through the motions and missing the biggest picture? Are you planting your stake in the ground for something that doesn’t truly matter?

I encourage you to check out Jeff’s viral video and allow his words to ring true for you:

Jake Lawson

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s