Through the eyes of the Lord Jesus
Among the first words preached by the Messiah were these as recorded in Mark chapter one:
“Repent and believe the gospel”
He announced the need for change. Repent means to change one’s mind with the effect of changing direction. Changing from self and sin, turning around to God and His Christ.
As the Lord walked among the people He always recognised and valued true faith. He recognised sincere efforts to live by the law. He responded to any cries for help. But sadly much of His teaching revealed His grief at the depth of sin and hypocrisy.
Let me sample from the Bible His response to sinfulness among the people:
In the ‘sermon on the mount’ he raises the standard of God’s expectation and condition of ‘blessing’ - “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth( and who among us does never assert ourselves) “Blessed are the pure in heart ( and who is so foolish to say that is me) for they shall see God”
Then He changes to apply the law of Moses to the heart and not only the action “everyone who is angry with his brother without cause will be liable to judgement.......”, “everyone who looks on a woman with lustful intent has already committed adultery.....”
And then He goes on to unmask the hypocrisy of religion without reality “When you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners that they may be seen by others.....”
Towards the end of this exposure of sin, He highlights the greatest failure : “ Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of My Father” Matthew 7.21
Many other incidents in the life of the Lord uncover the problem of people adrift from God. Chapter 15 is very telling:
“For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. These defile a person.”
Is there any good news??
There is indeed, next article.
But to begin with God we must begin with ‘God is holy and I and sinful”.