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Trust No One Who Breaks the Law to Defend the Law, Yet, Love Them

This morning, I read the trial of Jesus according to the Gospel of Luke. I’ve read it in the other Gospels as well. Something that blows my mind every time is that the Pharisees break their own laws to…get this…uphold their laws. They accuse Jesus of Blasphemy, and yet they appeal to Caesar. They do not bring him on evidence of more than two witnesses, in fact, they bring in FALSE witnesses, which, according to the Law of Moses, is a violation of not only one of the 10 commandments, but several points of the Law. They say. “We have no King but Caesar” and they reject God’s, and His Messiah’s Kingship, and for what? To protect the Law? I don’t think so!


Loved ones, if they did it to Jesus, they will do it to us. Those who love themselves will always make rules for others that they themselves will not follow. Jesus even said this of the Pharisees and Scribes: “They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to move them with their finger” (Matthew 23:4). And this remains true of modern-day Pharisees, who love to look pious and religious, but, indeed, do not follow the rules and burdens they themselves sling on others. Bewar of those who come at you in their own righteousness, for they will surely seek to put you down for trusting Jesus in His. They will justify themselves by calling you a rabid dog, while they themselves are foaming at the mouth!


So what do we do with such people? Simply put, like Jesus, pray for them. They are deceived, they are convinced of their own importance, and, thus, when that self-importance is disrupted, they attack and seek to destroy. Pray for them by name. Love them. Ask God’s forgiveness on them, seek their good. In doing so, you will have been like Christ who, as he suffered and died prayed, “Forgive them, Father, they know not what they do.” Love them with the Love Christ is perfecting in you, and desire their good in the hopes that they, too, will meet Christ Jesus, who will rescue them as He has rescued us. Matthew 5:38-48


“You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist the one who is evil. But if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if anyone would sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who begs from you, and do not refuse the one who would borrow from you.


“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


Luke 23:26-49


And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”


Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.”


One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”


It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.

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