Sunday, May 11, 2014

Show Me Your Help

Show Me Your Help
May 12, 2014
Matthew 23:4  "They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them."

There is an entire chapter in the Bible where Jesus does nothing but call the religious leaders of His day hypocrites.  His tongue seems rather harsh over the entire Chapter of Matthew 23.  Jesus says they are in-effective in their roles as teachers and leaders.  He goes on to say they are actually causing more harm than good.  In short, Jesus is very offensive, but of course Jesus only spoke the truth, so they rightly deserved it.  When He calls them hypocrites and then lays out all the reasoning and rationale for the title, He sets Himself up for a huge undertaking.  By speaking out so boldly against the religious leaders, pointing out all their flaws, He is suggesting He is and would be just the opposite.  He now has to put up or shut up, if He is going to prove Himself the opposite of a liar.

Specifically, He says the religious leaders where making rules to live by, placing an impossible burden on the shoulders of the common man to live a righteous life.  Jesus said the leaders weren't even willing to help them out with that burden, being willing to show them how it could be done or walking along the road with them.  When Jesus was saying these things, He was juxtaposing what He would do for the common man.  If you re-read Matthew chapter 23, it is permissible to assume Jesus is the perfect opposite of His description of those religious leaders.  They were not willing to help with the heavy burden of living a righteous lifestyle, but Jesus was saying He would gladly do that for you and me.  Jesus was saying He would happily lift His finger to lessen the burden you and I carry, whatever that burden.  They were not willing to prove it could be done or help out, but Jesus was saying He would gladly walk alongside each and every person on whatever road life has for them.  Jesus said He wasn't in it for the show but was willing to prove it to you and me by getting His hands dirty.  Jesus said He was better, because He was and is here to help!

If you think Jesus isn't here to show you His help, you are incorrect.  Jesus is here, no matter the task.  The problem is we either don't ask Him for help or let Him help.  Sometimes we don't even want the help He is willing and able to give us.  We want Him to remove the thorn from our flesh and He wants to give us grace to endure it.  We want Him to satisfy our desires with our perception of good things but He wants to satisfy our desires with things that are good FOR us.  We want Him to remove the work from our hands, but He wants to role up His sleeves and help us with the work at hand, even if it means getting dirty.

Jesus is not a hypocrite.  He is the opposite of everything wrong as described in Matthew chapter 23.  He is here to help and that means in the physical sense, too, not just with spiritual guidance.  If you've asked Him for help, and you perceive He isn't helping you, then you have a problem.  He has NEVER once turned down the opportunity to help someone, especially His children who are calling on His Name.  If you perceive He is not helping then you have the opportunity to ask Him to show you HOW He IS at work.  Maybe your perception is misaligned with reality.  He is at work the moment you ask for help AND He is more than willing to show you His part in it.

Don't take my word for it; look it up:
  Ps 103:4-6, Ps 121:1-3, Matt 18:19-20, Matt 23, Gal 5:6, 1 Cor 13:1-8, 2 Cor 12:8-10, James 2:14-26, 1 John 3:16

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