Napa Methodist Church 2016 Lenten Devotional

Devotional for Monday, March 7

Sally Archambault Community Corner, Lent 2016

Matthew 15:10-20

The Pharisees sought out Jesus to chastise him for ignoring Jewish customs/laws. Jesus rebukes them for following the letter of the law and not the intent. He quotes Isaiah saying, “‘These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips; but their heart is far from me. And in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrine rules made by men.” And then he proceeds to tell a parable and then explain it to the disciples.

In the case of the Pharisees, Jesus was accusing them of being so concerned with nit picking that they were not open to hear his message. They were worried, fearful, of losing power and therefore fearful of Jesus and his influence. The Messiah was not coming in the way their preconceived ideas had predicted, and so their words were judgmental and critical of his teachings, especially when they ignored the letter of the law.

Yes, you are what you eat but it’s what comes out of your mouth that informs others about yourself. Are your words harsh, sarcastic, belittling, or are they kind and encouraging?   Do you speak truthfully and honestly about issues, or do you speak from prejudge and fear? When I am stressed or hurried I have a tendency to snap at people and not use the best tone of voice. Or when a question is asked for which the answer seems obvious to me, I tend to use the sarcastic, know it all, “duh” voice. This scripture calls me to be way more mindful of how I speak to those around me. How about you?

Barbara Thompson

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