Those Self-Justifying Thoughts
Jesus answered them, “I did one work, and you all marvel at it. Moses gave you circumcision (not that it is from Moses, but from the fathers), and you circumcise a man on the Sabbath. If on the Sabbath a man receives circumcision, so that the law of Moses may not be broken, are you angry with me because on the Sabbath I made a man's whole body well? Do not judge by appearances, but judge with right judgment.” — John 7:21-24
So back in chapter five, John is going to present the healing of the lame man on the Sabbath as the leading reason that Jewish officials are going to begin to plot against him. And Jesus knows this. So many months later, as he is teaching on Temple grounds at one of their largest gatherings, he takes the time to present his case publicly. And he uses their reasoning against them.
Here's what he does. He cites the practice of circumcision. And the reason he cites this is it was a practice required by religious law to be done on the eighth day after the birth of a male. Well, sometimes, this eighth day fell on a Sabbath day. This was unfortunate because this required excessive amounts of work to be done and more than allowed in their oral tradition. Therefore, Jesus is pointing out a flaw in their traditions and practices. What he states could be said this way:
You are willing to justify work on a Sabbath to cut away a tiny part of a man's flesh so he can be holy. And now you justify killing me because I healed a whole man's flesh to make him holy when I didn't lift a finger?
This is a surgical dismantling of their malicious justification.
Gentlemen, we all have self-justifying thoughts. We will justify a reason for doing just about anything we want to do. But next time you have one of those thoughts, I would challenge you to remember this moment. And then play back that self-justifying thought as if you are standing before Jesus. And then remember this. There is only one who can justify, and it's not you.
ASK THIS: What self-justifying thought have you had recently?
DO THIS: Confess it to Jesus below.
PRAY THIS: God, I give you my self-justifying thoughts. Justify me.
PLAY THIS: Justified By Faith Alone.
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11 thoughts on “Those Self-Justifying Thoughts”
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A wrestling match every day. Thanks for the message. J
I’ve been blessed so many times in my life. At work, I’ve knocked it out of the park so often that I became a legend. Business is slow now and I pray for God’s encouragement, but it’s slow going and I lose trust/faith in the Lord’s timing. Shame on me. He’s never let me down in the past. Why would I think he would let me down now? I need prayer for strength and encouragement.
Jesus we pray for Joel. We pray Ps 46:10 over our brother. We pray that he would be still, stop striving, and know that you are God. That he would be like a young son in his father’s arms. In Jesus’ name.
I suck. Yesterday morning I read my purity book in the morning, served for several hours, stopped for 2 beers by myself in the afternoon, didn’t engage in foolish nor Holy conversation, capped off late night with a quick peek at porn. Help Jesus help!!! I suck. Almost slipped into the sliding scale self justification mode. Then I remembered from my Hebrews study that my works was a dirty rag and I’m either following the Lord or I’m not. I hate these struggles, especially going in to my favorite week of the year. Please pray for me. This morning a feel like a hypocrite and heading to Church with a fake smile. Oh Lord receive my worship and cleanse me today 😢
Jesus we pray for Chris. Lord please show him that you love him in a new way today. Please show him that his struggles don’t define him; but that you define him. He is a son that struggles and is growing. Please fill his heart with repentance and love. In Jesus’ name.
Chris, it takes years to get over porn addiction, I have been there myself. my lowest point was when my wife caught me watching porn and was in the mood to satisfy that need for me, until she saw me looking at another woman in our house on my computer. we all struggle at different times with different levels of sexual desire for women that are not our wives. The fact that you feel remorse for doing it at all is the first step to healing, keep on praying and stay in the Word and you will eventually get to the point where you don’t feel the urge as often and hopefully get to the point where you don’t feel the urge at all. I would also recommend getting a buddy or someone you trust that won’t judge you to help you out with your accountability and start to set up boundaries in your life to make even getting to those websites or physical materials difficult or impossible on your own. I personally had my wife set the password on the antivirus on my computer, broke the DVD’s I had in our house, and tossed the magazines as well. Form good habits to replace the bad ones and don’t rely solely on yourself and I think you will see much better results.
You are willing to justify work on a Sabbath to cut away a tiny part of a man’s flesh so he can be holy. And now you justify killing me because I healed a whole man’s flesh to make him holy when I didn’t lift a finger?
This would be a Jesus’ drop the mic moment!!!!!!!!!!