Monday, December 13

Advent Devotions: Week 3 Monday

Readings given for today are : Numbers 24:2-7, 15-17, Psalm 25:3-8, and Matthew 21:23-27 (Error: I read chapter 23 instead of 21, what I wrote below doesn't make sense for chapter 21).

The Pharisees are all bad guys, right? Jesus said so, right? Well, no. Thinking of those nasty Pharisees as the bad guys is to miss the point. The Pharisees weren't the bad guys. They were good guys, but they had the wrong idea. They saw things wrong with their people and were trying to fix them. Israel was ruled by Rome. Before Rome, had conquered them, they had been ruled by Greeks. Before that, they had been in exile. With all this foreign influence, people were starting to forget that they were God's Chosen people. They were not following the rules that were laid out for them. The Pharisees were frightened that this would mean that God would leave their land. His awaited blessing (the Messiah) might never come. So what did they do, they organized themselves and tried to make sure everyone started following all the rules. So why does Jesus complain about them so?

He complains they were following the letter of the law, by which I mean following everything strictly, but not the spirit. What does it mean to follow the spirit of the law? That means you need to figure out what purpose the laws have and order your actions be aligned with that.

Let us pray:

Jesus, please guide us each day as we await the celebration of your birth. Help us to live by the spirit of the law in our daily life.