One of the really exciting things that has been happening since the COVID-19 lockdown was brought into being is that life as we know it has changed rather dramatically. People are staying home because they must and then they are stuck with the challenge of finding things to do while locked down. Many homes and gardens have never looked so good all because of the virus.
But there is another side to the lockdown in that we are spending more time watching the old television. Then what we do find is that our recollections are correct in that there is nothing worthwhile watching on the box. The movies get repeated and there is no live sport if you are into that type of entertainment.
There is so much not holding your attention that even the ads are often better than the programs they are on with. Now let me also explain that I do not go looking some theological theme in every ad although I suspect that if any of us did we would always get the frequent answer that there is another example of sin feeding sin in our world.
Jesus speaks very clearly and plainly. He is like a doctor or a surgeon who must at times speak very openly and plainly to a sick person, telling the diagnosis, in order that hopefully they can lead them to the cure. He begins to uncover and reveal the rot within us, in order to draw us to the truth. We cannot know the cure unless we know the disease to begin with.
The issue today is hypocrisy – and the worst kind of hypocrisy – a religious kind that speaks in the name of God.
• Hypocrisy is giving the false appearance of goodness.
• It is an actor who is not the true character, they are just playing the part and it is timeless - it is as alive and well today, as it was in the time of Christ Jesus.
• It is spiritual death.
We have walked with the Lord Jesus on the road in Jerusalem. On this journey our Lord has;
Taught His disciples the cost of following Him: “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”
He has sent out the 72 with power.
He has gently spoken to Martha who was anxious and frustrated with her sister.
He has taught His disciples to pray and taught them about true blessedness: “Blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep it.”
Today we take the next step on this journey to Jerusalem with our Lord.
Dotsevesky said that the gospels record for us a most beautiful life. The life of Jesus.If that is what the gospels of Matt mark and Luke do for us to portray The Most beautiful life ever lived then Acts of the apostles tell us that his life did not stop but that Jesus kept on teaching and acting in power through His apostles and others who followed Him.The Lord Jesus never faded in power ,in influence.
Why is it that this Life has endured in brightness when others have faded in time to be just a shadow.?
For the Jews there were three significant religious duties, giving, praying, fasting.
Jesus takes them one at a time. Each section starts with a rather ridiculous example of someone
doing it to show off. Then he says if that’s what you want, then enjoy it because that’s all the
reward you’re going to get. But if you do it in secret then your father who sees in secret will
Scene 1.Giving to the needy and then he paints a picture of somebody sounding a trumpet
“gather round everybody because you’re about to see me giving to the needy.”
It’s awful isn’t it
Scene 2 Praying: Here’s someone going into the Main Street and waiting until there’s a
crowd and spreading his arms and praying in a loud voice.
Scene 3 Fasting. Here’s someone fasting and he gets out the mascara and makes himself
hideous so people will ask what’s wrong with you and he says oh it’s nothing I’m just fasting.
It’s what I do. It makes me humble, you know.
Tamworth Community Presbyterian Church