The 'Grace and Christ' series focuses on the aspects of His ministry on Earth and how He demonstrated Grace.
It is as interesting to see the way Christ demonstrated Grace to others and dispensed truth at the same time. This series will analyse these interactions and see the measure of Grace and Truth in every word he spoke.
But before that, there is one particular group that Christ had very little Grace for. It has fascinated me as to why thieves, prostitutes and killers deserved His Grace, but the Pharisees, the Sadducees and the scribes ? They received very little Grace and mostly truthful judgments close to 40 times in the Gospels.
We can read the interactions of Christ with them in the following passages:
Matt 12:34, 39, 15:7, 16:4, 19:8, 21:12,13, 22:18, 23:3, 13 - 37
Mark 3:5, 5:40, 7:6, 11:15, 12:15, 24, 27, 38
Luke 11:29-52, 12:1, 56, 13:15, 32, 34, 16:14
He openly called them brood of vipers, self-righteous, hypocrites, hard-hearted, blind guides, white-washed or unmarked tombs, wicked and an evil generation.
So why was He so hard on them ? The answer is found in James 4:6 : But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
The Pharisees had pride.
Pride to believe they knew God more than Christ. Pride to prioritise some parts of the law above others. Pride to make up laws above God's laws. Pride to try to bait Christ publicly to ridicule Him. Pride to impose rules on others but not on themselves. Pride to judge others instead of looking at their own hearts. Pride to not want to see the Grace that was before them. Pride to refuse to hear the Truth that was taught to them. Pride to plot and kill Him instead of giving in to Him.
When I look in the mirror, are there things there that resemble reasons as to why Christ refused Grace to the Pharisees ? I want Grace. I need Grace. I crave Grace. So I will learn from their example and take it as caution for my life.
Pride. It's the Grace-killer.