Life throws curve balls sometimes. I remember being at someone’s house when a lady got hurt. As our aunt felt pity for the injured person, neither of us knew she’d be gone in a few days from a blood clot.
This happened many years ago, but it always reminds me to live my life in a manner most pleasing to God. My husband calls it keeping short accounts with God: if we stumble and fall, immediately and sincerely we repent.
Jesus throws curve balls many times in the New Testament. When I look at the Scriptures with new eyes, trying to get past the familiarity of the stories, possibly by putting myself in the main characters shoes, I’ll realize just how unorthodox Jesus was.
Jesus spoke to the multitudes on a mountaintop. When He spoke what are commonly known as the beatitudes, he also said as recorded in Mat 7:15, (KJV) “Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.
Mat 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Mat 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Mat 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Mat 7:19 Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Mat 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
Mat 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.
Mat 7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?
Mat 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
Loudly and clearly, Jesus is saying that we need to be living a life that shows forth love, kindness, compassion, truth, mercy, goodness, and many other fruits of the Spirit as listed in Galatians 5: 22, 23. If we live for ourselves and don’t consider God and His desires, we may think we’re on our way to heaven and He’ll say, as in the above verses, “You need to leave. I never knew you. You are a sinner and you are not welcome to come with me.”
He also told the religious leaders that most people honored and respected that they were hypocrites. Then He called them a brood of vipers!
Mat 23:23 (KJV) Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye pay tithe of mint and anise and cummin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith: these ought ye to have done, and not to leave the other undone.
Mat 23:24 Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel.
Mat 23:25 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye make clean the outside of the cup and of the platter, but within they are full of extortion and excess.
Mat 23:26 Thou blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be clean also.
Mat 23:27 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.
Mat 23:28 Even so ye also outwardly appear righteous unto men, but within ye are full of hypocrisy and iniquity.
Mat 23:29 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! because ye build the tombs of the prophets, and garnish the sepulchres of the righteous,
Mat 23:30 And say, If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in the blood of the prophets.
Mat 23:31 Wherefore ye be witnesses unto yourselves, that ye are the children of them which killed the prophets.
Mat 23:32 Fill ye up then the measure of your fathers.
Mat 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
Mat 23:34 Wherefore, behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city:
Mat 23:35 That upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar.
Mat 23:36 Verily I say unto you, All these things shall come upon this generation.
Mat 23:37 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
Mat 23:38 Behold, your house is left unto you desolate.
Mat 23:39 For I say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.
Jesus spoke what He heard the Father speaking, He said in John_12:49 – 50, (KJV) For I have not spoken of myself; but the Father which sent me, he gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak. And I know that his commandment is life everlasting: whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto me, so I speak.
That statement riled up the Pharisees as well.
Some of these verses are not encouraging and some are. I like to read about what Jesus said and about what He did. Then I pray that God will teach me from His word. When Jesus speaks things that I don’t get and that seem hard to swallow, I seek Him and information so it makes sense, even if it is a curve ball.
May God bless you.