Something that’s bothered me for some years now is that if you read the genealogies of Jesus (there are two listed: Matthew 1 and Luke 3:23-37 ) the line from David comes down through Joseph, not Mary, and well, Joseph didn’t really have anything to do with bringing Jesus into the world…Realizing that back in those days, your heritage came through your father’s bloodline, not your mother’s, it hit me this morning that maybe God was saying man’s ‘rules’ were stupid. He does that quite a lot. Jesus came to do away with man’s law. Okay, God set the original Law—the Ten Commandments…and what did we do? Went completely way overboard bonkers, implying all sorts of extra meanings and stipulations into something God meant to be so simple: Love God, love your neighbor. And we ruined it! Well, the Pharisees ruined it. They made up all these implications about working on the Sabbath, and what to eat and what not to eat, how to eat it, etc. to the point that nobody could possibly live up to The Law. And the Pharisees were so excited to condemn anybody and everybody that dared mess up and go against the Law, sitting up there in the Temple, judging the people and judging their sacrifices and charging them an arm and a leg for the perfect lamb or dove to cover their restitution…
So, here comes God—showing them how stupid all their ridiculous rules and stipulations were. He gave us Jesus, ignoring the whole familial heritage thing or, better—giving the women some credit, because it’s the mom who does all the real work in childbearing, we deserve some of the credit of who our child is, right? So, yeah, Jesus is born into David’s line to fulfill the prophecy, but through Mary, not at all of Joseph or David’s blood. And all through His life, Jesus set a new standard of living according to the Law, showing us exactly what God meant to truly love the Father in everything He did, and to love our neighbor, every neighbor—not just the rich and pretty ones, or the most Law abiding ones…ALL of our neighbors: sick, poor, sinner, Republican or Democrat.
We still try to manipulate God’s Word today to try to make people do certain things or act certain ways. I think that’s part of the problem with why non-believers don’t want any part of the church or Christians. We’re still Pharisees, sitting up in our temples, judging those on the outside and wanting them to conform to our rules: show up at church every Sunday and you better be wearing a dress or a suit with shiny polished shoes. Don’t swear, don’t drink and don’t you dare have a tattoo or visible body piercings. You need to cough up a proper tithe—we’re keeping track, you know. Don’t be gay, don’t have premarital sex, and don’t get divorced. We can’t tolerate any of those shortcomings.
Really? And sadly, that’s barely scratching the surface…all God wants us to do is love. Open our hearts and shut our judging mouths and simply love. If we really want to reach people with God’s message, to bring non-believers to the Light, we first have to stop making up stupid rules and regulations and realize ALL of us, believers and non-believers are ALL God’s children and He loves every single one of us and just wants us to do the same: Love.