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  • Henry Omotayo

Arguing With The Author?

Mark 2:13-17

Message No. 0556 | Twitter @GodandUs | www.wisdom-speaks.ca

IKTM was an acronym popularly used in my High School days. It means ‘I Know Too Much.’ The acronym was used almost as a name for a new disease, usually in situations where a student argued a lot and claimed to know more than other people, which was common among students who sometimes competed for supremacy, either to show off or as a sign of insecurity. Do adults, working class people perhaps exhibit this trait today also? Perhaps when we want to show people that we know more than them, just for show off or share fight for supremacy, we should remember this acronym?


In Jesus’ days, there was no shortage of IKTM moments. Man, just look at the way the Pharisees argued with Him on several occasions; they were all out to prove that they knew the books more than Jesus. Can you imagine a situation where a learner is trying to prove that he or she knows more about a book than the author of the book? How would it look when you order toast bread, omelets, sausage, and beacons with some hot cup of coffee for breakfast and the chef sends to your room fresh bread, boiled eggs, chicken drumsticks and green tea? Would you be outraged? Yeah, I think you would.


In Mark chapter 2, verses 13 to 17, Jesus was walking beside a lake and many people came along with Him. Then He saw, inside the tax booth, Matthew, the tax collector, and one of the most hated men in Israel. Jesus knew this, but He not only called Matthew to follow Him, He went to his house to eat, with other sinners on the same table. Abomination,! the Pharisees screamed. Pulling His disciples aside, they asked: why does He eat with tax collectors and sinners? If He is really who He says He is, He should have known that these are sinners and He ought to have completely distanced Himself from them.


Jesus, of course, knew the thoughts of their hearts. In verse 17, the Bible says:


On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”


Not only did it irritate the self-righteous Scribes and Pharisees of those days that Jesus associated with sinners, they found Jesus on a collision course with their self-defined, well-established, complicated, and legalistic rules concerning the sabbath day. Left to the religious leaders, you couldn’t even lift a pin on the sabbath, let alone pick some heads of grains while passing through a grainfield. The amazing part of their rules was that you couldn’t even do good to someone, like healing the sick or delivering the oppressed, on the sabbath day. Surely this was not what God, the Speaker of the Words meant when He asked that the sabbath be a day of rest, but the Pharisees tried, always, to prove to Jesus, the Author, that they knew more than Him.


The world uses many idioms to caution overzealous people to take a minute and examine what they are doing. Sometimes we pick certain rules and overstretch them far beyond the intention of the authors, and we are so strong in the defense of our (wrong) positions. This is one reason why, occasionally, if I am told something, and I do not understand it or I have some doubts regarding the real meaning or intention behind what I am told, I go a step further to read the original text to make sure I get it. People interpret words and messages differently, not because they mean harm, but because they themselves have been deceived or confused by those who passed the original messages to them. Concerning the things of God, of course, there is no better way to be sure than to read the Bible.


It is embarrassing to argue a matter based on second-hand message transmission, while the author of the message is present. How could the Pharisees claim to know about God’s Words more than the Author! Perhaps we are in this position also? Do we seriously believe that we are to not associate with unbelievers in any form: no handshaking, no visits, no dinning together, no chatting, nothing? How then are we ever supposed to speak to them about Christ? How can we hide ourselves in cages and expect to convince people outside to follow our God?


God sends His rain upon the sinner and the righteous alike, but in our world today, we see people hiding under the guise of religion to argue that our governments should deny sinners certain rights of citizenship. Is this not proving more righteous than God? Forgetting Matthew 7:1-5, we sometimes lie, bully, backbite and do things that are not in line with God’s Words, and instead of asking God for mercy and forgiveness, we pick on certain types of sin that others commit and elevate them beyond our own sins. To be sure, we should never be happy when we see people committing sin, and we should in fact pray and oppose the propagation of sin in our societies, but why do we believe that our own sins are of lesser consequences than other people’s sins? Just in case we have forgotten, in 2 Corinthians 6:9-10, the Bible says:


Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God.


And in Revelation 21:8, we read:


But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death.”


As God’s children, we need to constantly check ourselves to see that we do not cross to the zone of the Pharisees. We need to stop creating our own version of Christianity and to go back to the Bible to read, understand, and follow Christ’s version of what He wants us to be and how He wants us to live. Jesus remained Christ when He sat and dined with sinners. We can remain righteous and still show some love to those who don’t know God yet. This, sometimes, is the opportunity we need, to tell them about Christ. Have a blessed week!


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 PLEASE ACT NOW:
 If you are yet to give your life to Christ, you do not have a covenant with God and His promises do not apply to you. To come under these promises, please surrender your life to Christ today, by praying this prayer:
 Lord I know that I am a sinner and I am unable to save myself. I am sorry for my sins and I pray that you please forgive me. I am aware that Your Son Jesus died for my sins and I accept Him as my Lord and savior. I surrender my life unto you from this moment. Please take control of my entire being and help me to be obedient to your Word, going forward. Thank you, Lord, for hearing me. I have prayed in Jesus’ name. Amen.
 If you prayed the foregoing prayer, you have just been born again. Please find a Bible believing church in your area and ask to see the pastor. Let him or her know that you have just given your life to Christ and s/he will guide you on next steps in your journey as a child of God. The Lord bless you!
 
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