Last week, I started blogging again. For the next few Thursdays, I’ll be posting snippets from my new book, “The Journey: A Traveling Companion Through the New Testament.” Today’s is based on Matthew 12:1-29. Enjoy…or something like that…

Those Pharisees!

When I was a youngster, my family took Sundays pretty seriously. We went to church, and then Dad watched football in the afternoons, Mom made fudge with thousands of calories (I miss those days), the neighborhood kids played kickball or the boys chased the girls with snakes . . . you know, fun stuff. But we didn’t get hung up on legalistic “Sunday” rules.

The Pharisees did. Jesus healed a guy’s withered hand on the Sabbath and the Pharisees went rather ballistic over it.

Have you noticed how Jesus hung out with the less-than-perfect people but rebuked the holier-than-thou people? He wasn’t a fan of those sanctimonious, self-righteous, and hypocritical traits.

Another thing I’ve noticed is the mention of the nations in this passage, twice actually: “And he will proclaim justice to the nations.” “In his name the nations will put their hope.” In the New American Standard version of the Bible, the word “Gentiles” was used for “nations.”

I’m a Gentile.

I’m guessing the Pharisees weren’t too happy about this Gentile Outreach thing either.

Jesus, of course, loved those Pharisees; he just didn’t seem to find “holier than thou” very holy at all.

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