Laws can be both enforced and tempered with compassion and human dignity.
(Listen to my song “Radically Okay” on YouTube by clicking HERE)
Jesus spoke to the crowds and his disciples, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, you hypocrites. You lock the kingdom of heaven before human beings. You do not enter yourselves, nor do you allow entrance to those trying to enter.”
Jesus was very sympathetic to those who were cast out by society…those who were looked down upon and rejected.
Some of those people were ostracized because they had broken laws.
Jesus treatment of them wasn’t about ignoring laws and giving a free pass to those who did wrong…but it was about restoring those people to wholeness and dignity.
That requires a “both-and” mindset…someone who is able to both uphold standards and be compassionate in his or her response.
After all, those people are all infinitely loved by God.
That’s why Jesus could reach out to the woman caught in adultery both holding her accountable…and telling her that he does not condemn her (John 8:1-11).
The Pharisees, the religious leaders of the time, were hypocrites in the eyes of Jesus because they held so-called “sinners” in contempt with no measure of compassion…while seeing themselves as pure and without sin.
They “locked” human beings out of “the kingdom of heaven” because they refused to give them the key of forgiveness.
Forgiveness opens the gates of heaven and allows someone to experience it right now…and forever.
We each carry that key.
May we use it generously.
Listen to the song of the day “Radically Okay” on the Mercy Reigns album by clicking HERE.
Stream and/or purchase my songs on Amazon Music by clicking HERE.
Remember…God loves you!