The other day my son was hungry and wanted a snack. We had just been the store and bought bulk size snacks for kids’ lunches for times like these when they were hungry. I started to give my son options for what snacks he could eat. As I ran through the list of 4 or 5 options, he said “no” and had a reason for why he didn’t want every single one of them, but yet he was hungry. As a parent in times like these sometimes I become frustrated, because when I was a growing up there weren’t 4 to 5 options of snacks to eat.
As a kid….. You get what you get and didn’t throw a fit.
When did kids receive the right to be so picky?
These snacks were perfectly fine last week, but for some reason this week these snacks didn’t meet his criteria.
Was I the one to blame for his picky palate by providing him with multiple options?
By allowing him to have all of these options was I setting him up for discontentment?
These moments make me question my actions as a parent. Was I setting the foundation for him to be picky in other areas of his life as well?
This picky culture isn’t so far off from how the Sadducees used to live in the Bible. The Sadducees were a Jewish party which represented the wealthy and sophisticated. In Jesus’ time even though this group was small in number they had a strong political and religious influence in Jerusalem. The Sadducees were the ultimate picky culture. They picked and chose which truths they wanted to believe and not believe.
“But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees coming to where he was baptizing, he said to them: “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?” Matthew 3:7
In this passage, John the Baptist was preparing the way for Jesus. John the Baptist was calling the the Pharisees and Sadducees a “brood of vipers,” because they wanted to hear and see the message of baptism he was teaching, but thought the message didn’t pertain to them. John was preaching about repentance, a deliberate turning away from sins in order to be forgiven and receive the righteousness of God. He was teaching everyone needed to repent and be baptized in order to be made new in God and that God always forgave those who repented.
John knew the Sadducees only believed in half truths. They only accepted five books of Moses and rejected all other oral traditions (Mark 12:18 footnote). They didn’t believe in the resurrection or a personal Messiah but held onto to the promise of the Messianic Age a future era where there would be peace, harmony a life without strife or hardship (Acts 4:1, Matt. 3:7 footnote). They wanted to believe in the promise of life with harmony, but didn’t want to walk away from a life of sin. John actually refused to baptize the Pharisees and Sadducees because he knew they failed to repent (remove sin from their lives). The Pharisees and Sadducees had one thing in common, they believed their salvation and deliverance was already given to them because of their birthright into the Jewish heritage.
When John asked them “Who warned you to flee from the coming wrath?” he was asking them ‘who told you the Messiah is coming to bring repentance or judgement?’ Did they only want to hear the message when their lives were at stake?
How true is this for our lives as well.
“….I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full. ” John 10:10 NIV
Jesus came so we could have life and have it to the full. But somewhere along the way we can get caught up in picking and choosing the parts of Jesus we want and don’t want just like the Sadducees. I for one have been guilty.
Have we become a picky society that picks and chooses what we believe?
Do we want the promise of heaven and the crown but not the suffering of the cross? Do we want the promise of the resurrection of our circumstances in our lives but not the sacrifice of Jesus? Do we believe in the Bible, but only the red letter parts? Do we want a Savior and God’s grace to be extended in our mistakes but not for him to be Lord over our lives?
Have we become like the Sadducees?
Do we believe in the sanctity of marriage except when times get difficult? Do we believe in the power of prayer only if God answers our prayers our way in our timing? Do we believe in preserving our children’s innocence except in times of worldly persecution? Do we believe attending church is enough to maintain a relationship with God? Or that God is only loving when things are going well in our lives?Choosing half-truths for our lives somehow along the way has been substituted for God's truth in our lives. Click To Tweet
By allowing these half-truths in our lives, are we setting the foundation to pick and choose which parts of Jesus we want to accept and not accept?
Living on the slippery slope of choosing what parts of Jesus I want and don’t want is dangerous. When I am being picky, I am missing out on the greatest blessings Jesus has to offer. Jesus is meant to live in our lives whole-heartedly, not half way. What if there was only the death of Jesus without the resurrection, how meaningless would that be? Sadly I think this is how many of us live today. We believe Jesus is our Savior but not that he is able to resurrect our circumstances by being Lord in our lives. In God all things are possible.
Jesus is the piece that makes us all whole, He completes us.
He is the source, maker, provider for all our needs. The more we understand who Jesus is and His role in our lives, the more we can understand God’s love for us—the better we can understand our identity in Him and be filled with His fullness. In God we lack nothing. Jesus came so we can have life and have it to the full. The fullness of everything God has to offer is ours already; we just have to open, receive, and allow room for it in our lives.
Can you relate to the Sadducees?
What half-truths have you substituted for God’s truth in your life?
Do you live on a slippery slope of picking and choosing which parts of Jesus you want and don’t want?
God’s love and grace is transformational. We become victorious when His word is alive and active in our lives!
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