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Summary: Jesus’ values were based on loving the Lord with all of one’s heart, soul, strength and mind. (Luke 10:27) The Pharisees’ values were rooted in their traditions and their religious laws

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How Jesus’ Life and Ministry Contrasted With the Pharisaical Religious Leaders

Illustration:The trouble oftentimes with religious people is that they try to be more spiritual than God himself.

Frederick Buechner.

1. Jesus’ values were based on loving the Lord with all of one’s heart, soul, strength and mind. (Luke 10:27) The Pharisees’ values were rooted in their traditions and their religious laws.

Ask the Lord to help you to be motivated by a greater love for the Lord than by human traditions or compliance to man made rules.

2. Jesus insisted on following the Father through the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the teaching of His holy word. He said, "Sanctify them through your word, your word is truth." (John 17:7) The Pharisees insisted on following every minor detail of the Talmud and Torah’s laws for the approval of men in authority.

Ask the Lord to help you be led by the Spirit as you meditate on the scripture to gain an authoritative direction from the Lord for every situation.

Quote; If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.

Abraham Maslow quoted in Eating Problems for Breakfast by Tim Hansel, Word Publishing, 1988, p. 54.

Illustration:

3. Jesus emphasized pleasing God by doing the Father’s will with the right motives. The Pharisees emphasized pleasing of the religious authority and God by keeping to legalistic and traditional religious standards.

Serve the Lord out of right motives rather than trying to please people by carrying out the letter of human laws.

4. Jesus exemplified the servant to people in a way that would make disciples who could reach their own people groups. The Pharisees became preoccupied with political maneuvering to gain the highest seats in the temple courts.

Ask the Lord to help you focus on the essentials of building God’s kingdom rather than your own.

5. Jesus taught that people will gain rewards laid up for them in heaven for those who will be content to give to please God. He knew that real rewards come from trusting and obeying God even when people do not understand your ministry. The Pharisees sought rewards through their promotions to higher positions of power among the religious leadership.

Resist the temptations to look for human promotions, but instead seek the real rewards that come from the Spirit of God.

Illustration:Baseball pitcher Tug McGraw had a wonderful philosophy of pitching. He called it his "frozen snowball" theory. "If I come in to pitch with the bases loaded," Tug explained," and heavy hitter Willie Stargell is at bat, there’s no reason I want to throw the ball. But eventually I have to pitch. So I remind myself that in a few billion years the earth will become a frozen snowball hurtling through space, and nobody’s going to care what Willie Stargell did with the based loaded!"

Our Daily Bread, July 26, 1994.

6. Jesus overcame the problems of the coldness of relational familiarity by emphasizing a continual feeding on the Lord’s goodness

and love with daily devotions. The Pharisees took their religion and standing with God for granted. Ask the Lord for the power and wisdom to worship the Lord daily with at least 30 minutes of solitary devotions - preferably in the morning.


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