A prayer for gospel Pharisees and Scribes

And the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, why do your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with the file hands?

And he said to them, Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written, this people honors me with their lips, but there’re heart is far from me; in vain do they worship me, teaching as doctrines and the commandments of men. You leave the Commandments of God and hold the tradition of men. Mark 7. 5 – 8

Jesus these are strong words. What could be more tragic than to hear you say, you talk about me a whole lot, using plenty of spiritual language and biblical quotes. You are quick to recognize and correct faults teaching.  You’re even zealous to apply what you know to others. But your heart is very far from me?

It would be one thing you’re such a review came to us because we were acting like Mosaic Pharisees and scribes – distorting and misapplying Old Testament law; putting people under the yoke of performance–based spirituality; replacing your Commandments with our traditions. But it is an altogether different thing to be a gospel Pharisee and scribe.

Forgive us, Jesus, when me love exposing faults gospels more than we love spending time with you in prayer and fellowship.

Forgive us when we are quick to tell people what obedience is not but failed to demonstrate what the obedience of faith and love actually is.

Forgive us when we call ourselves recovering Pharisees or recovering legalists when in actuality, were not really recovering from anything.

Forgive us when we talk more about “getting” the gospel then how we have been “gotten” by the gospel.

Forgive us for being just as arrogant about grace theology as we were obnoxious about legalistic theology.

Forgive us when we don’t use our freedom to serve one another in love, but rather use it to put our consciences to sleep.

Forgive us what our love for the gospel does not translate into a love for holiness, world evangelism, and caring for widows and orphans.

Forgive us for having a PhD in the indicatives of the gospel yet feeling so miserably when it comes to the imperatives of the gospel.

Forgive us when we love the gospel more than we actually love you, Jesus, as impossible as that may seem.

~ Scotty Smith

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