The people who had the greatest difficulty receiving Jesus were the Pharisees and they had lot of difficulty seeing Jesus as God because Pharisees don’t really see God like Jesus. For centuries they had the law but the law never fully revealed what God is like.
They had one part of the truth called the law, and they thought that was what God was like.
We often think of the Pharisee and the bad guys but they were really the good guys in Jewish society back then. They were like us they were the committed ones. They weren’t fulltime ministers, they had jobs but they were devoted to God. All day they tried to please God in their lives.
They wanted God blessing. So they prayed often, they fasted often, they were particular about tithing every last tenth of the parsley on the kitchen window sill. They studied the bible they memorised it and they tried to do it. They even travelled long distances just to get someone else converted to follow Gods law.
Really they were followers of the list. The law was a divine list of instructions and as for them and their house, they were going to follow it.
The Pharisees problem was when the author of the law came, they still preferred the list.
When parents go away for a week and leave a list of things for their teenage children to do and not do.
That shall not have you wild mates around.
Thou shall not make noise that will annoy the neighbours
Thou shall not leave home without locking the house.
Thou shalt eat properly and don’t be late for work
Thou shall put out the rubbish.etc.
It not the parent, it is just a list.
It tells people a little about the parent: they value tidiness, they think of their neighbours etc. The list reflects in part the nature of the parents but it is not the parent.
If just before they come back home, the children make sure the list in done; put out the rubbish and vacuums the house. They might have lived selfishly all week but the list is done. The boxes are all ticked.
When the parents come back home, they screw up the list because now the person who wrote the list has come.
When Jesus came to earth, the Pharisees still preferred the list. They found it easier to understand a list than the person. Their forefathers were the same. They told Moses to go up the mountain and get the list; they were too scared to meet God. Meeting the requirements of the list has to be easier than meeting with God.
The law is not a person. It is a revelation of a portion of truth, but it is not the fullness. Grace and Truth are both fully present and revealed in the person of Christ and they cannot be separated. Grace is a person and Truth is a person.
Friend, how do we see God…? Because Jesus was different to what they thought.


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