Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Philosophy Jesus Style - Martin Wiles

Philosophy Jesus Style
And Jesus said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” Luke 7:50

Fundamentalist was the term Dad used to describe himself. 

Mom’s take on things, I was unsure about. Occasionally, I would pick up vibes that she disagreed with some of Dad’s philosophy. I knew he believed faith was the way to God, but the constant emphasis on rules seemed to interfere with what he attempted to teach me about God. What seeped through was the “thou shalt not’s.” When I finally began meditating on God’s Word rather than just reading it, I discovered God wanted more in our relationship than me obeying a list. 

I doubt the sinful woman who approached Jesus was a churchgoer. She was considered a “sinner” and probably wouldn’t have been welcome. She wasn’t at this party either, but for some reason, Simon, the host, didn’t throw her out. Perhaps her actions toward Jesus astonished the guests and Simon so much that they couldn’t speak. Maybe they let her carry out her actions so they could get more proof that Jesus wasn’t the Messiah. Either way, she stayed and cried on Jesus’ feet, wiped them with her hair, and anointed them with perfume.

Jesus rewarded her actions with praise. He didn’t give her a list of things to do when she left if she wanted to be His disciple. He merely recognized her faith and told her to go in peace. She had discovered what the religious leaders thought they had—but hadn’t. Their service to God was like mine when I was young—obeying a list of commands. Jesus went deeper with the woman.

The philosophy of the religious elite of Jesus’ day was plain. One connected to God through obeying numerous rituals and hundreds of commands. The result was failure and turmoil. By allowing the sinful woman to perform her ritual, Jesus tried to demonstrate their error. His philosophy has to do with repentance and faith. Her actions portrayed her faith, and her faith—not rote obedience to rules--saved her. She received what the religious snobs tried so hard but failed to obtain—a relationship.

What philosophy of religion are you following? If it doesn’t include repentance and faith, it will fail you.

Father, remind me that the way to You is through faith and repentance. 

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