What happened thischristianguy? I hear you all ask.
Well I changed my way of preparing the messages I was going to give. I started just talking them out to myself while walking the dog. Of course now the dog barks in tounges - its just a joke.
So now I'm going to begin again posting my message preparations.
Its 2 weeks till my next deadline and I'm already playing around with the concept of inside/outside - Jesus versus The Law. You know the whole whitewashed tombs hypocrasy thing in Mathew 23.
27"Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs which on the outside appear beautiful, but inside they are full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness.
28"So you, too, outwardly appear righteous to men, but inwardly you are full of hypocrisy and lawlessness.
Jesus' teachings focused on the decisions you make, what you think and beleive, on your heart. Not on what people see you do and how you look. The people of Jesus' day had a way of seeing things that was skewed to the visual, only seeing the acts of a person and their physical state. This extended to the sick, ill and disabled. You can see it in the question the disciples ask Jesus about the Blind Man.
1As Jesus walked along, he saw a man who had been blind since birth. 2Jesus' disciples asked, "Teacher, why was this man born blind? Was it because he or his parents sinned?"
Being pop culturaly minded I find myself thinking of another character who saw things differently. Jay from Men in Black.
Jay looks beyond the exterior appearance of the monsters in the shooting gallery. He sees that one of them is working out, the other is sneezing, and that the white girl in the ghetto with quantum physics books is "Up to somthing". This an obscure way of explaining what Jesus does with all of us, but thats just how revolutionary Jesus teaching is. It's a whole new way to understand the world. Before Jesus everything was external, everything to do with the Jewish faith was to do with your actions. Boys were circumcised, animals were sacrificed, purification and washing of the body was essential, the temple was in the city huge and larger than life. People struggled to keep up with the laws that the Pharisees had established. Of course for the Pharisees to keep ahead of everyone else they went to extremes. They tithed from their spices. This would be akin to thithing from your sock drawer, or teaspoons, or pens, staples, paper clips.
This kind of strict adherance is scary but its still done, yes its done by the religious right wing fantatics in every fait, but its not just Jews, Chrisitians and Muslims. Its done by people folowing trends and lifestyles be it Goth, Geek, Extreme Sports, you name it. We live our lives with a template which we have decided up on or have had decided for us. This is how we present ourselves. The Pharisees presented themsleves was as pious and clean,Jesus called them white washed tombs. How they looked was a facade, merely a mask which hid dead bones.
All of the external trappings we do only mask the fact that on the inside we are like the Pharsiees, dead bones. We need to look on the inside of ourselves and see this is true. Jesus looks inside us all and tells us there needs to be a clean up. Of course this clean up can't be done by ourselves we need purification but not just the washing of our bodies but out hearts as well. A kind of spiritual irrigation is needed. The Jewish customs and traditions all delt with the outside, markings of your body like circumcision, rituall cleansing, sacrifice and the temple. Jesus said he came not to destroy the law but to filfill it. Jesus came to make us Temples for His Holy Spirit. He is the one and only complete sacrifice who died on the cross and rose again, whose blood makes us clean washing away our sin. He asks us to circumcise our hearts and cut out the dead and decaying parts of us that are worthless that lead us into those old ways. Paul describes this best.
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
We need to realise that how we look on the outside isn't as important as how we are on the inside. We can change, we can do more than just what people expect us to be. Jesus is able to do this in us, if we are willing to submit to Him, becoming a Temple of His Holy Spirit. Then He will begin the job of transforming us into the person He wants us to be.
Yeah thats almost there.