Embracing Rebuke (Matthew 23)

As i read through this chapter i wondered what the difference between a rebuke and a woe was, so i looked it up and this is what i found…

rebuke |riˈbyoōk|

verb [ trans. ]

express sharp disapproval or criticism of (someone) because of their behavior or actions 

and

woe |wō|

noun often humorous

great sorrow or distress 

• ( woes) things that cause sorrow or distress; troubles 

As i pondered these definitions, i thought about how blessed i am that the Lord would rebuke me and not say woe unto me.  i know that Jesus before offering these woes unto the religious leaders of his day had rebuked their behavior.  They did not accept his rebuke, but instead continued to live as they chose with no regard to the Son of Man.  In fact they were so busy plotting the demise of Jesus that they couldn’t even hear the truth in his rebuke.  They did not want to be questioned and had hardened their hearts to the truth.  They had established a facade of being holy, although i believe they felt they were holy, and when someone questioned this holiness or called into question their practices their only answer was to do away with that person.  Honestly, it was a different culture and life then and people didn’t question “the religious authorities”, so if someone did, as Jesus did, it was taboo.  i have a feeling that no one wants to be called out really, honestly i don’t like facing the sin in my own being, but if i don’t accept that rebuke and turn from sin, then eventually, Jesus will say unto me…”woe unto you”.  For i will have caused him great sorrow.  i believe he came for every one of us.  i believe his life and death was not naught.  i believe he is the way, the truth, and the life.  i believe from him i receive living waters.  i believe through him i find hope, mercy, grace, faith, and eternal life.  i know that i never want to cause sorrow to my Lord, though it is probably inevitable.  However now that i know him, that his spirit resides in me, i want to never cause a woe to come forth, instead i pray that i am soft to the kind and gentle rebuke of a loving father who doesn’t want to cast me from his presence, but rather draw me near in all my imperfection.  i choose to embrace the rebukes as they come and be open to turning from sin in the light of all that Christ is.

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