Bundles of Rules - Nourishing Meals

Bundles of Rules - Nourishing Meals

06 May 2010

Today’s Reading: 2 Samuel 11-12; Psalm 51; Matthew 23


2 “The religion scholars and Pharisees are competent teachers in God’s Law. 3 You won’t go wrong in following their teachings on Moses. But be careful about following them. They talk a good line, but they don’t live it. They don’t take it into their hearts and live it out in their behavior… 4 Instead of giving you God’s Law as food and drink by which you can banquet on God, they package it in bundles of rules, loading you down like pack animals…” (Matthew 23:2-4 MSG)

Competent teacher, but poor example. That’s a pretty heavy indictment against a religious leader. Jesus warned his friends that the religion scholars knew their stuff and communicated it competently, but you couldn’t follow the example of their lives because they would lead you exactly to the wrong destination.

Jesus said that God’s Word can be presented as a Bundle of Rules – backbreaking, impossible to keep, full of condemnation. But God's Message should be a Banquet for the Soul – filling our minds and hearts with God’s thoughts and values, which sensitize us to our sinfulness, so that we will run to God for forgiveness and comfort, and love God as Abba, Father.

Do you have any idea how silly you look, writing a life story that’s wrong from start to finish, nitpicking over commas and semicolons? (Matthew 23:24 MSG) They had the grammar and punctuation right, but they were telling the wrong story!

I’m gradually learning to shift my emphasis from the Pharisees’ “should-do” and “have-to” emphasis to Jesus’ “being and becoming” emphasis. The challenge is just as great, but instead of producing bondage and guilt, the outcome is freedom and relationship.

It’s not what you know, it’s what you do with what you know!


Father, I love to teach your word and to make practical application of truth to life. I love to take things that seem difficult to understand and make them simple and clear. Please help me to digest your thoughts and values as I feed daily on your word. Help me to prepare tasty and nutritional meals for those I teach. Please help me to do better at the most important thing – living it first before attempting to explain it to others. Amen!

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