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Woeful Ways
by Tom Goodman
March 11, 2009

What does Jesus hate?

Now, there's a question to provoke some squirming.  If your childhood Sunday School classes were like mine, you may have grown up with the impression that Jesus was just Mr. Rogers with a beard.  And some of us have grown into adulthood still preferring that image of Jesus as kindly, soothing, reassuring, and harmless.

So what do you do with Matthew 23?

In this chapter, Jesus lowers the boom on the religious establishment of his day.  Seven times he begins a statement with the prophetic phrase "Woe to you!"  It was a statement mixed with both condemnation and sadness.  Condemnation, because choices have real consequences.  Sadness, because things could have -- should have -- been very different.

So, what does Jesus hate?  We need to look at his seven "woes" because part of loving Jesus means avoiding the things that disappoint him.

This Sunday we'll examine the seven things that Jesus hates so we can clear our lives of them.  Two weeks ago we discovered that our entire focus should be on love for God and for others.  This week you'll discover what life looks like when we take our focus off that target.  Every one of the seven "woes" in Matthew 23 involves either a neglect of love for God or a neglect of love for others.

"Bible Across America."  My thanks to all who volunteered for the "Bible Across America" tour stop at Hillcrest last Sunday!  Karina Kling at News 8 and Bob Banta at the Statesman did a fine job covering the event, and you can find the following names in their stories: Aimee Johnson, Isaiah Davis, Randal Preston, Lauren Duffin, Melissa Juranek, Rucker Hoskins, Jim Varnado, Amanda Huffman, and Karen Raulie.  You'll also see images of the Watkins family, Earl Cossey and his mom, Ruth Ann.  Click here for the story and click on the "Hand Written Word" in the video section.  The Statesman also ran a story.  Read it online (and see photos here).

See you Sunday!


Weblog:  Check out my blog, "Get Anchored."  Some things to look for...

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