Blog

Equal opportunity offender

The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him. (Mark 3:6)

Nothing unites like a common enemy.  The Herodians and the Pharisees would have nothing to do with one another, and yet, they both were deeply offended by the gospel (though in very different ways).

The Herodians were thoroughly secular - the party of Herod (who was notoriously immoral and irreligious - see Mark 6).  They couldn't stand the bad news of the gospel - the call to repentance because of brokenness and sin.  This is what John the Baptist proclaimed to Herod, and it got John killed.  Here the Herodians are plotting to do the same to Jesus.

The Pharisees would have applauded Jesus (and John) calling the Herodians to repentance.  They were quite good at calling people immoral.  But their prescription for sin was different.  The Pharisees could never get over Jesus' notion of grace.  Not only did Jesus hang out with sinners, but He actually told them they could be right with God.  And not by following the law with Pharisaical precision (that was a lost cause) - but by receiving Jesus by faith.

The bad news of the gospel offended the Herodians.  The good news of the gospel offended the Pharisees.  Then, as today, Jesus makes enemies on both sides of the aisle.

Some of us grew up as Pharisees and now want to get as far away from that as possible - and so we run from rules and religion and believe our concept of "open-mindedness" will save us. Others of us had wild patches and so we run toward religion, believing that a moral life will ultimately give us value and save us.

And in strides Jesus and says we're both wrong.  Rather than running to and from religion (and rules), we must run instead toward Jesus.  Or perhaps better, we need to stop running altogether, and rest in the work Jesus has done on the cross.

worshiptimesbackground2

Join us Sunday at 

9a & 10:45a