This statement of Jesus was pointed right to the religious people of the day, the Pharisees. But before we are ready to pass judgment on them let's look at what they were like and the similarities to the religious people of today.
The Pharisees were:
- The conservatives of the day...they were fundamental in their theology
- They believed in the infallibility of the Torah (First five books of our Old Testament)
- They believed in angels and expected the supernatural
- They believed in the resurrection of the dead
- They believed in blood atonement
- They were evangelistic in their zeal...they were so successful converting people from hedonism to Judaism that when the plans for the temple of Herod they had to greatly enlarge Court of the Prostlelyte because of the great numbers that converted
- They were missionary in their fervor...it was said they would circle the world for just one convert...because they believed their was only one truth and one faith
- They were pre-millennial in their hope, they were looking for the personal, bodily, eminent coming of the Messiah
- They were devout in their practice...fasting 2 days per week with even some not swallowing their own spit from sunrise to sunset
- They prayed 3 times per day with the shortest of their prayers being 10-12 minutes...and not all prayed on the street corner but many prayed in their prayer closets
- They observed all of the dietary laws and feasts
- They were giving and most gave 30% of their income
They were fundamental in theology, evangelistic in zeal, missionary in fervor, pre-millennial in their hope, devout in their practice and many were sincere and earnest in what they knew, taught and practice.
Yet Jesus said that they were unwilling to come to Him for life. How many of us are so sincere in our desire to do for God that we miss the truth of Jesus? Are we ready to come to Him, daily feasting on the bread of life and allowing the overflow of Him to light the world? Or are we like the Pharisees, ready to do everything we can for God by our own power?
Are we ready to be fully consecrated to the Lord, forsaking everything for His name sake? Or are we still holding back, still making provisions for the flesh and sin and in doing so not coming to Him for life, even if we are avid church goers. How many of us want the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives but still rule and reign our own lives...still in essence being our own gods? Oh, that we would come to Jesus not willingly holding anything back - Because He is Worthy.