Monday, May 15, 2017

Why We Need Emoticons in Scripture

I have written before about some of the missed/misunderstood humorous gags in The Bible.  I was reminded again about this after this mornings sermon.  Our preacher is a very well educated man who doubtlessly used many good, competent Commentaries in putting together the morning sermon.

His chosen text, part of a series from the Sermon on the Mount, was Matt. 5:38-48.  The final verse, 48, is one of my favorites in Scripture.  It reads, "Therefore be ye perfect, even as your father in Heaven is perfect."

Well, is seems that many well-studied commentators are perplexed by this verse.  Our pastor did verbal gymnastics to try to suggest that Jesus was telling his Jewish audience, numbering 5k men, plus women and children, that we ought to see our relationship with G^d as "whole and complete" the intended meaning of "perfect".

Whereas, the pastor, and all his commentators may WELL BE CORRECT, I have strong doubts.  The audience is listening to the GREAT Rabbi, Jesus.  He is preaching in Aramaic, recorded by Matthew in Greek.  Back a bit over 20 verses earlier, Rabbi Jesus had said, "Unless your RIGHTEOUSNESS exceeds that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall in no wise enter heaven."

What?  Yes, we ought to scratch our heads over both these admonitions of Exceeding the righteousness most religious people of their religion and being Perfect as is G^d.

But a simpler explanation would seem to fit the approach and philosophy of the Son of Man.  Jesus, G^d became man, is telling us that His listeners- the Jews there and us today- are in BIG trouble.

And I repeat, we, and the Jews, are in BIG Trouble.  And,- this is crucial- there is ONLY one solution for our big trouble.  And that solution is...

The RIGHTEOUSNESS of Christ himself, imputed to us by G^d's Grace and Mercy.  Yes, read this literally.  Our righteousness must be perfect- better than the MOST religious folks we know to enter into heaven.  AND, we ONLY attain this level of RIGHTEOUSNESS if it is imputed to us by the shed blood of the ONLY PERFECT sacrifice, Jesus our Savior.

We need emoticons!

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