Posted by: trbccoffeebreak | April 13, 2021

Call Them Out

“Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean.” Matthew 23:27

If you’re old enough to remember the 1990s, you probably recall a very popular bracelet—a fad embraced by Christians and non-Christians alike. These wristbands came in all colors and styles, from rubber to handwoven, and simply touted four letters: WWJD. “What would Jesus do?” This was the question of the decade, meant to inspire people to stop and think about how they could reflect the character of Jesus Christ.

As a believer, I think it’s a great sentiment. Once we’re saved by grace through faith and given the Holy Spirit to live in us, we actually are empowered to live more like Jesus. We’re exhorted to love like Him (Ephesians 5:1-2), forgive like Him (Ephesians 4:32), serve like Him (John 13:14-15). We are still sinners, with the “natural” and “spiritual” woman battling it out for daily control (Romans 7:14-24). But as we mature in the Lord, we will be less conformed to this world and more transformed (Romans 12:2).

There are innumerable ways to answer, “What would Jesus do?” But every action, reaction, response based on that question must be Biblical. Here, let’s focus on a couple situations when what Jesus did may seem somewhat “out of character.” All of Matthew chapter seven is a good place to start. Because Jesus can see into their very souls, He calls out the Scribes and Pharisees with seven harsh “woes”—calling them hypocrites, vipers, and blind guides. They have fallen away from God, taking the Jewish people with them. There’s another incident recorded in both Matthew (21:12-13) and Mark (11:15-18) when Jesus is defends His Father’s house—the temple—by turning over the moneychangers’ tables and driving them out. Again, these “religious” people were taking advantage of faithful worshippers for their own gain, using the temple for crooked business.

Here is where the literal rubber (bracelet) hits the road.

When it comes to the 21st-century Pharisees, we need to ask that same 90s question: What would Jesus do? We must carefully look around at today’s church leaders and “Christian” movements to see what’s really going on. Listen to popular teachings and search the Scriptures for yourself, asking for wisdom from the Holy Spirit to discern the Truth. There are so many heretics out there, hissing the same lie as Satan in the Garden: “Did God really say…?” Watch for modern-day “moneychangers”—fleecing congregations with false doctrines that include giving them money so you’ll be blessed. Just as Jesus warns, we must beware of false prophets and disciples (Matthew 7:15-23), as there are wolves prowling around looking a lot like sheep. And, like Jesus, we’ve got to call them out.

“Lord, give me discernment to recognize the wolves in Your Church—and the courage to call them out.”

For His Glory

Julianne Winkler Smith
TRBC Women’s Life


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