A Pharisee Encountering the Gospel

by Erik Irish

Here are some meditations of a Pharisee meeting Jesus. Specifically from Mark 7.1-23.

Sadly, as I grow as a Christian I feel more and more of a relation to the legalistic Pharisees. The assualt to this is always the gospel. But I am too often slow in breaking out the ammo that needs to be fired.

Give me something to do, something to contribute. I’m good at rules. I can make them and keep them too.
Or just let me watch others—I can keep track of their blunders

I know I’m weak, but so are they, but I am better, because I obey.
I have this list in my pocket. It keeps me safe it keeps me secure
I dare you to point out my failures, bring it to me! I keep score.

What I cannot stand is the religion of this Son of Man–he stands shaking his head every time I say ‘I can’.
He is so insensitive and repressive.
He talks of my heart like he sees right through me. He ignores my good works and can’t see my ability.
He says my heart is wicked. It is a reservoir of evil.

But I am better, than all of these people.
He leans in and presses further: your ‘good’ is your liability.
You have nothing of value nothing for me, your heart is an enemy, it’s full of deceit.

Oh, this one speaks with love, he speaks with authority.
He shows me a bigger list. There are a few commandments that I’ve missed.
I am undone. I am lost. The price of self-righteousness has a cost.
But with no means to pay and no ability to work—I’m undone before the court.

Now I have another request, instead of asking for a list or something to do, I need a Savior. I need to be rescued.
My request is clear: Give me one who has done! Someone who can give righteousness!

Now this Christ is honored and his blessed gospel valued.
If God would forgive this wretch then Christ alone would have to live and die too.

Now I weep and see my sin that pierced his Holy soul within.
I no longer carry a list, it would do me no good,
Plus, I don’t have it, it’s nailed to a piece of wood.

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