What does Jesus hate?
The answer to this question could lead to the most liberated, joy-filled, God-honoring, people-encouraging, love-sharing, and unstuck life that you can live, and serves as the kick-off to our new series, Getting Unstuck in Life.
We all want a life of meaning and joy, but often we’re stuck in the mire of struggle and even wonder if we’ll ever get out. The first step to getting unstuck in life is to answer the question, “What does Jesus hate?“
Jesus hates self-righteousness.
Self righteous people believe that the way they live their life qualifies them for righteousness. Check this story out below…
“…Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and was praying this to himself: ‘God, I thank You that I am not like other people: swindlers, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I pay tithes of all that I get.’ But the tax collector, standing some distance away, was even unwilling to lift up his eyes to heaven, but was beating his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, the sinner!’ I tell you, this man went to his house justified rather than the other; for everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but he who humbles himself will be exalted.”
In this parable, Jesus is drawing a drastic contrast between one who believed that his life merited righteousness, and another who recognized that his life did not. One was prideful and the other was humble. One overvalued his ability, while the other understood his inability. One was blind and the other could see. One left justified and the other left condemned.
Is this fair, you might ask? The first one lived a good life, restrained his appetite, and gave away his money. He wasn’t an immoral person. While the other was a tax collector, which in that particular society was a deceiver of deceivers.
How could the one whose life as a tax collector–which equaled rejection and manipulation of his people, exaction and even extortion of the weak–be justified? The answer is very simple, people are justified not because they break the law and do bad things, but rather because they love God. God is not a faraway entity–distant from His creation, but rather a Deity who is near and who has provided a way for the highest of His creation to be in a relationship with Him.
How are you to respond?
The way to a relationship with God is not through a life well-lived, but rather a life of need. It is in that humble state that one sees himself for who he is, sees God for who He is, and sees the only way to be in His presence of love and relationship.
The Pharisee’s life blinded him to his need for God. He thought that his keeping of the law qualified him for righteousness, but sadly it did not. The Law was never meant to justify, but rather to show everyone their need for God. The tax collector saw his need, and responded in faith, while the Pharisee left blinded and condemned by his own well-lived life.
Will you acknowledge your need–your most essential need–in humility?
Do you acknowledge that you have a need? Not just a need to be unstuck, but rather a deeper need to know the Creator of the universe–to be in a loving relationship with Him. That is to say, to be fully loved while at the same time being fully known. It wasn’t the good person who was justified, but the sinner who knew he had a great need. This isn’t getting your life right so God can love you and you can love God, but rather it’s seeing yourself for who you are–unable to do anything good enough or refrain from doing anything bad enough–as a sinner seeking God in faith.
What if you lived a life free from burdens and worries? What if you lived a life of joy and purpose? Is it even possible? I believe it is, and the journey to get there is worth the effort!
Let’s start climbing together today!— October 27, 2017