Mark 7:9, 13 “You are good at rejecting God’s commands so that you can follow your own teachings! … And you ignore God’s commands in order to follow your own teaching. You do a lot of other things that are just as bad.”
Unfortunately, there’s a lot of people who still do this. Politicians. Some church leaders. Those of us who are trying to justify our actions by trying to sound holy and knowledgeable while having neither holiness nor knowledge. I’ve grown tired of hearing politicians (on both sides of the aisle) quote Jesus when it serves to benefit their particular agenda. Amazingly enough, they don’t quote him (and usually complain about the other side quoting him) when his words don’t line up with their agendas. It’s gotten pretty frustrating, to be honest.
But you know what? I do the same thing.
Why do we keep twisting what Jesus says to fit our own agendas and lifestyles? Is it a pride thing? Is it stubbornness? Is it ignorance? Laziness? I’m not sure if it’s laziness because it takes an amazing bit of theological and exegetical gymnastics in order to pull it off. But why do we put forth that much effort to explain away something when we know Jesus says otherwise?
I guess it makes sense. If you only follow the part of Jesus that you like, then you don’t have to change. And change can be difficult. It can hurt.
But…really…what good is it to only follow Jesus part of the way? Isn’t it kind of an all-or-nothing deal?