I finished reading, Dangerous Wonder by Michael Yaconelli. (Colorado Springs: Navipress, 1998) and several thoughts particularly about the Pharisees have stayed with me.
Yaconelli states that, “It was Jesus who taught us how to break the rules. It was Jesus who touched lepers, against the rules. It was Jesus who broke the Sabbath, against the rules. It was Jesus who forgave people of their sins, against the rules. (Adulterers were to be stoned, not forgiven.)” I think the important word here is “how” – how to break the rules. There are times and places where we need to keep the rules (whether the rules are cultural, legal, spiritual) and there are the times and places where it is ok to break the rules. The difficult is knowing the when and the where and of course this is why it is important to have a dependant relationship on God.
Yaconelli talks about the Pharisees desire for predictability and comfort. “The Pharisees wanted Jesus to be the same as they were. His truth should be the same truth that they had spent centuries taming. But truth is unpredictable. … People do not like surprises – even church people – and they don’t want to be uncomfortable. They want a nice, tame Jesus.”
Of course it is easy for us to talk about the problems with the church or the problem with Christians but it is difficult to come up with solutions. Yaconelli has a few thoughts about this and I liked this one”: “If we truly want to hear God, if we truly want to hear Him speak, then we need to take the time to savor Him. To immense ourselves in our Father and bask in the intoxicating presence of God’s speaking voice – this is prayer. Prayer is savoring God . Savoring is immersing ourselves in His presence, hearing Him with all our senses.”