18 Jan 2017
Jesus was both angered and grieved by the Pharisees. We might even say that he was shocked by their behavior, by their coldness of heart. And he was troubled deeply by how they had interpreted the law of God. He was angered and immensely saddened—not because he hated the Pharisees, but because he loved them and hated to see his own children go down the path of destruction.
I suppose it’s like any parent or grandparent who sometimes looks at their children and can’t believe what they do (or don’t do), like: not going to church, giving up on God and the faith, doing things which are harmful to them. What are you left to do but be angered and grieved by that.
But, you know, Jesus doesn’t keep silent. He’s pretty straightforward with the Pharisees; he doesn’t mince words. And he does what’s right, even if it’s not well-received. Jesus isn’t afraid to upset the applecart when it needs to be upset. And, in that, we can look to the Lord not only with love and affection, but also with admiration.
Like a trusted teacher, he shows us how to relate to others who are self-righteous, self-serving, and (sadly) self-destructive. We relate to them with honesty (even blunt honesty) and with unconditional love and concern, while standing firm in what’s right and just. And sometimes—a lot of times—that’s not very fun.
Sometimes having the heart of Christ is simply a pain; it makes us angry and terribly sad. But that’s the price of having a softened heart; that’s the price of sacrificial love. But it’s a price we gladly pay and, really, we can’t afford not to pay that price.