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Leaders Meeting

Shane Willard

You have to start with something everybody's on the same page with and then move somebody somewhere that way, so this was the common ground. This is what He says: Don't you see that whatever enters your mouth goes into your stomach and then eventually out of the body? So Jesus backs up to the point where He says okay, you guys aren't agreeing with anything so let's try this. When you eat it goes into your stomach, and then you eventually have a bowel movement. [unclear 00.05.48] That is a - [laughter] you don't get much more safe than that, like can you imagine being a Pharisee? You're trying to criticise everything so finally Jesus backs up and goes okay, when you eat something it goes into your stomach and eventually you have a bowel movement. The Pharisees would have been like well you can't really argue with that can you, right? [Laughter] So now He's finally got His common ground and then this is what He says. See its okay, so we do agree on that: eat, stomach, bowel movement. It's all connected.

Okay, then He says but the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart and these make a man unclean, for it is out of the heart that comes evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony and slander. These are the things that make a man unclean. So He's whacking their entire idea of unclean and clean. They had created an incredible system to define people as unclean or clean. They had this massively complicated system. There were 613 rules in Leviticus, 613 commands to live the best life, and it had nothing to do with salvation. It had nothing to do with forgiveness. All you had to do to be forgiven was put your faith in a lamb on Yom Kippur, so in the Old Testament they were saved by grace through faith, [unclear 00.07.12] faith in a lamb. In the New Testament we're saved by grace through faith in the sacrifice of a lamb - no difference. In Leviticus there were 613 commands to live the best life. The word Torah doesn't mean law, it just means God's teachings and instructions for the best way to live.

So there were 613 commands, but that wasn't hard enough. There's something in people that wants to make God harder to live with, so they made 3,000 more rules on top of the 613. Now why would they do that? Why would they do that? Because in the Old Testament if you broke the Torah what did you have to do? You had to bring a sacrifice and it had to be a spotless sacrifice. Well if you didn't have a bunch of spotless lambs hanging around and you needed a sacrifice where would you get it? Conveniently you could buy it from them, so isn't it convenient that the people you could buy the lambs from actually made it harder to keep so that you would need more lambs. Now why would they do that? So that they could make money. They were getting wealthy on religious guilt. We would never do that would we? So what they did is then they said well because of our rules we've never murdered somebody. We've never committed adultery, we've never done this, so they set themself up as something bigger.

So Jesus shows up and wrecks their entire concept of clean and unclean. He shows up and goes you're impressed with yourself because you've never murdered somebody? Well that's not very impressive. How many people actually murder people? Not very many. I'm going to ask you do you hate people? Is it in your heart? You're impressed you've never committed adultery? Well woopty-do. I mean how many people could say I've never committed adultery? A lot. My question is what's come out of your heart; do you lust? Jesus wrecked everything. I mean He shows up - He even wrecks their ideas of salvation right, like I'll give you an example. There's this one time there's a paralysed guy that gets lowered in from the roof of a house and this is - now listen. I was raised Pentecostal, I was discipled Baptist, I went to a Presbyterian Reform Seminary and I've been mentored by a Pentecostal rabbi for eight years and I'm telling you, this story doesn't fit any system of theology I've ever heard but it's right there in the Bible, it's in Red Letters.

It says that a paralysed guy got lowered in from the roof of a house and it says and Jesus saw the face of His friends and proclaimed his sins forgiven. Jesus saw the face of His friends and proclaimed his sins forgiven. Now can you imagine the reaction of the crowd? You can't call him forgiven! What did he need to be forgiven? He needs a lamb. He needs to take the lamb to the temple. He needs to talk about his sins to the priest. The priest needs to offer the lamb as a sacrifice for his sins. Everybody knows that's the only way to be forgiven, everybody knows that! Jesus goes no, no, no, there's something else going on in his heart, it'll be okay. It'll be okay - and He was whacking their concepts of salvation and He was whacking their money making schemes. He started to make everything about the heart. Now this has huge implications for leaders. The first implication is this, is that the condition of your heart will determine the atmosphere of your leadership. The condition of your heart always determines the atmosphere of your leadership. Let me give you an example what I mean.