“Just the Facts: Pt. II” – Rev. Gary Hilton – Galatians 5:16-17

Having a glimpse into the world that Jesus stepped into, we begin to develop a better understanding as to why people reacted to Jesus’ message the way they did. In a time when challenging the status quo could erupt into chaos, Jesus did just that. Having in mind the words of the prophets and knowing the judgement God brought for their unfaithfulness in the past, the jewish leaders became so legalistic in the law that they attempted to shut out the world. Instead of being an example to other nations, they tried to shut them selfs off and instituted extra rules to keep from breaking God’s law, and in doing so lost their love for others. Jesus’ message contained the truth they needed to hear and a difficult challenge to what they though was right: without love for others, adherence to God’s law was next to meaningless. What is important to Jesus is love and compassion for those considered the outsider, and healing and grace to those considered unclean rather than the perceived righteousness of God’s People. This was just as difficult for those that interacted with Jesus back then as it is for us today; we all suffer the same problem of thinking that we can have our faith all figured out and organized, that we can follow Jesus from the comfortable life we have built for ourselves. Looking at Jesus’ ministry, there was noting safe or comfortable about it. He challenged the status quo and put God’s grace on display for all to see.