Summary: There are two types of people exist within the universal body of the Church: the grateful and the ungrateful, the selfless and the self-centered, the contrite and the sanctimonious.
Elder M. Edmunds
Co-Pastor of United Ordained Church
In our text, we find two individuals demonstrating two different responses to the presence of Jesus Christ: one is a demonstration of gratitude and the other is of ingratitude. One individual responded in appreciation, while the other sat and responded in depreciation.
These two demonstrated reactions that our evident in our text is a contrast between the attitude of the repentant and the attitude of the self-righteous.
Even today, these two types of people exist within the universal body of the Church: the grateful and the ungrateful, the selfless and the self-centered, the contrite and the sanctimonious.
It is difficult to distinguish who is who until they come into maturity, until certain circumstances presents themselves, by bringing out their true nature.
Even Jesus made reference two these two types of people that exist within the kingdom of heaven or the body of believers in His parabolical discourse found in Matthews 13:24-30.
He characterized one as wheat (a true worshiper, a repentant, a God pleaser) and the other as a tare (a pretender, an unrepentant, a man pleaser). He said, “Let both grow together until harvest (or maturity were circumstances and opportunities reveal their true nature), and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.”
For there are several individuals who shadow the door of God’s consecrated place of worship who are extremely grateful for what He has done for them: for He brought them out of darkness into this marvelous light and they have not lost the art of adoring Him ever since.
Regardless what you may think of their actions, regardless of what label you place upon them, they are just so thankful and honored to be in the house of prayer and in the presence of the Lord, they just got to praise and worship Him…
Why? For they are cognizant of the fact, that the Father seeks worshipers- “For God is spirit, and His worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth.”
True worship is more than just outward ritual. Worship is our spirit corresponding with God’s Spirit.
Under the old covenant, worship was a series of outward ceremonies that did not necessary involve the heart response of the participants. Through Isaiah, God lamented, “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.”
God no longer wants ceremonial or religious so called worship at a fix locality; He now desires worshipers who will worship Him in purity of spirit.
Therefore, those who are so caught up on themselves (these are the tare), who think they are better then those around them, because they did not yield to that certain temptation or got caught up in that particular predicament, need to get it right before its to late.
You need to stop prancing around projecting yourselves as godly, for the devil is a liar. For Paul, the apostle, said in Romans 5:12, “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sin.”
In addition, John, the apostle the son of Zebedee the son of thunder the one whom Jesus loved, picked it up and went a little further, and elucidated what Paul said. For by divine revelation and inspiration of the Holy Spirit, in his first epistle, chapter one verses eight and nine he said, “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
However, my beloved brothers and sisters, get this, “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us of our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
So, stop acting like you all holier than thou. For my propensity or sin, which was your susceptibility, may not have befallen you and became your vulnerability, however, you are no better than I am. For there is something undetected from the natural eye, demoralizing and destabilizing your soul.
So, get your nose out the air, for you’re not all that and a bag of chips. Your struggling as well with the presence of sin.
Though you may not have experienced the high of crack and cocaine, or the effects of ecstasy, you are no better than any body else…
Though you may not have experienced the horror of a bad relationship that has left you hopeless with the responsibility of raising children all by yourself with a meager income, you are no better than any body else…
For though you never failed pray to these things, your “throat is an open sepulcher, for your tongue has used deceit; the poison of asps is under your lips” for you criticized and slandered, connived and coveted just to take the attention off of yourself so that others would not see your true condition.