Jesus taught revolutionary ideas. Because of this, even His own disciples had to ask what His parables and teaching meant.
They also seemed to be bothered that the Pharisees had been offended by the teaching of Jesus (Matthew 15:1-21).
What did Jesus teach that seemed to turn everything upside down?
Jesus defined religion differently from the Jews of His day.
They saw religion as rules and regulations to be followed. They wanted everyone to conform to their teachings–even those which did not come from Holy Scripture.
For example, they were disturbed and agitated that the disciples of Jesus did not wash before they ate. It’s important to note that this was not a cleanliness requirement. They didn’t know about disease and germs. What bothered them was that the disciples of Jesus did not follow the decrees of man! Jesus instead pointed out the decrees of God.
The Pharisees were much better at keeping man’s laws than God’s laws. In fact, the teaching of Jesus made that clear. They also seemed to want to keep man’s laws more than God’s. For that reason, Jesus called them out for their hypocrisy.
Jesus reminded His own disciples that it is not the outward but the inward that is most important. It is the heart (the inward) that determines our actions. Jesus said, “For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, fornication, theft, and false witness, slander” (Matthew 15:19). These are all offenses which break God’s moral law. Those offenses come from a depraved mind that leads a person away from God and toward sinful behavior.
Jesus seemed to teach a different way to look at life. It’s not what goes into a person that defiles him; it’s what comes out of him. Evil words and evil actions come from a heart set on rebellion and evil.
Jesus’ revolutionary teaching could be summed up in this way: Set your heart on God and His righteousness and your outward actions will quickly follow.
Therefore, seek God and what He desires.
Place Him on the throne of your heart and notice how He becomes all you have and all you need.
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