|Fettucini with Peas. Meh ...|
In Matthew 12, the story continues with episodes that reveal more of Jesus and more of the group called Pharisees. Matthew wants to contrast Christ with this subset of Jewish believers because the Pharisees were revered by many as holy men. Their stated purpose was to live in a way that upheld the value of religious purity. But, they were so deeply committed to their own brand of spirituality that when Jesus shows up, they reject Him out of hand. "Don't like Him."
"But have you given Him a chance ..." "Don't like Him."
"But have you considered ..." "Have you walked a ways with Him ..." "Don't like Him."
"Just give Him a try; a little taste ..." "Don't like Him!"
"But the mute speak and the blind see because of Him." "Don't like Him."
"He frees people from demon-possession!" "He must be commanding the demons by the authority of the Chief Demon."
"He teaches with divine wisdom and with clarity." "He hasn't proven Himself on our terms to our satisfaction."
Wow! That's prejudice. That's stubbornness. And Jesus implies that this type of unbending religiosity is blasphemous. It may be 'religious,' but it is anti-God. Jesus calls them a "brood of vipers" who speak evil and empty words. They are blind men asking for visual evidence. The evidence of unmatched greatness stands before them in the Son of Man, but they can't even recognize it.
So, what has the Spirit of God been saying to YOU lately? How has Jesus been making Himself known to you? Are you willing to respond? Or are your heels dug in somewhere; you have a prior commitment to thinking or doing in a certain way, and even though One greater than Jonah and Solomon is speaking to you, you still refuse to move, to change.
Take a taste of what Jesus has for you first, before you pass judgment.
Psalm 34:8 "O, taste and see that the Lord is good!"
Pray: Lord, I am so inclined to get stuck where I'm at. I am prejudiced and stubborn. I wax wise in my own estimation. Please persevere with me and break me out of my religious ruts. You are so good and so amazing; help me to trust You, to try You, to taste You in a fresh and daring way. You always satisfy.