Lent Devotion Day 9

Source: International Christian Churches : "LENT: With ONE  Voice"

During Jesus’ time, tax collectors were classified as social outcasts together with prostitutes and lepers. So when Jesus accepted Levi’s invitation to dinner, the Pharisees could not accept his choice of company. However, the Pharisees were acting on the basis of prejudice and there was no room for discussion. Their ‘religious’ convictions came from a tunneled understanding of scripture and they often took biblical text out of context to suit their accepted practices and worldview.

Obviously what was missing from the Pharisees’ action was a humble obedience to God’s word even when it challenged and overturned their norms. The Word of God is the foundational stone. It is also often counter cultural, confronting our attitudes and responses towards others. As such, choosing to be obedient to my Master involves letting go of my ‘religious’ convictions and prejudices whatever the personal cost.

Mark 2:13-17 The Message (MSG)
The Tax Collector
13-14 Then Jesus went again to walk alongside the lake. Again a crowd came to him, and he taught them. Strolling along, he saw Levi, son of Alphaeus, at his work collecting taxes. Jesus said, “Come along with me.” He came.
15-16 Later Jesus and his disciples were at home having supper with a collection of disreputable guests. Unlikely as it seems, more than a few of them had become followers. The religion scholars and Pharisees saw him keeping this kind of company and lit into his disciples: “What kind of example is this, acting cozy with the riffraff?”
17 Jesus, overhearing, shot back, “Who needs a doctor: the healthy or the sick? I’m here inviting the sin-sick, not the spiritually-fit.”

• What are my so-called ‘religious’ convictions and prejudices that I place on par with Scripture?
• Am I ready and willing to accept what God reveals to me, even when it appears to go against my culture’s view of Christian convention?

Father, I confess my tendency to run ahead, to voice my preferences and opinions.
O Lord, who knows my path, I ask for your guidance. Direct me that I make no mistakes in speech and deed. Let my life be ordered by your Word and framed in your Will. Amen.