Honest Bible Faves

Jesus Named Wicked Ways (9 Examples) – We Can’t Hide

Jesus named wicked ways … explicitly.  That is, Jesus of Nazareth himself, 1000 years after Solomon, 2000 years before us.

Jesus named wicked ways?!Jesus named wicked ways

It is largely Christians who quote this verse from King Solomon’s life (2 Chronicles 7:14) about turning from your wicked ways (See the prior post here.).

PROBLEMS:
“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain,
or command locusts to devour the land
or send a plague among my people,”
STRATEGY:
“if my people, who are called by my name,
will humble themselves
and pray and seek my face
and turn from their wicked ways,”
RESCUE:
“then I will hear from heaven,
and I will forgive their sin
and will heal their land.” (2 Chronicles 7:13-14)

SO Christ’s thinking would be a good place for professed Christians to look – you know, Christian thinking, Jesus’ thinking. Maybe find out what he cared/cares about.

Unless, of course, one need not actually believe in Jesus TO THE EXTENT of honoring his opinions. Some people seem to think that’s possible. It’s not.1

If we do not honor Jesus’ teaching, but pretend we “believe in” him and are therefore “saved”, we may be in serious trouble. 

JESUS NAMED WICKED WAYS.

Here’s a list from the top of my head.  You can no doubt add to it.

ONE: Pharisees and Family

To Pharisees, then to fueding family members – regarding greed and “wickedness”!   Luke 11:39 and 12:15
The Wicked Ways ARE
– Greed, which he pretty obviously calls “wickedness”
– But there is no greed among American Christians, right?
– And American Christians would surely not honor and protect and promote the wildly, murderously greedy, right

TWO: Beggar Lazarus and the Rich Guy

Lazarus was ignored at some rich man’s gate. “Remember that in your lifetime you received your good things, while Lazarus received bad things.”  And, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’  Luke 16:19-31
The Wicked Ways ARE
– Disregard of the needy
– Disregard of their own Scriptures’ teaching about such things

THREE: “The Good Samaritan”

We emphasize “good” because Samaritans were NOT regarded as good.  Jesus deliberately emphasized a Samaritan as the hero here, and deliberately contrasted the immoral (wicked) behavior of his own people’s religious officials. Maybe today he would tell the story of a gay Muslim woman who has had an abortion. Would that make his point?   Luke 10:25-37
The Wicked Ways ARE
– racism against Samaritans
– religious contempt against Samaritans
– avoidance of love of neighbors by religious persons
– religious arrogance, self-justifying, self-coddling, or indifference

FOUR: Weeping over Jerusalem

“As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.”   Luke 19:41-42
The Wicked Ways ARE
– Blindness to the blazing light of GOODNESS (which is also blasphemy against the Holy Spirit)
– Voluntary, rehearsed, self-enforced blindness
– Pride to resist input from the blatantly qualified and credentialed Jesus

FIVE:  Reinterpret to Nullify God’s Word.

“You nullify the word of God by the tradition you have handed down.” Mark 5:7-13
The Wicked Ways ARE
– “Nullify the Word of God by [your] tradition.” Oh, there’s a lot of this stuff.
– Call the Bible the Word of God.  False: procedure to get saved; reasons to get saved. False teaching about how it changes you when you get saved.
– Made-up teachings about how to worship; how to pray; trinity; the End Times.
– LGBTQ persecution. Misogyny. Racism. Hating other religions. Loving greediness.
– You can probably add a bunch.

SIX: The Economic Oppression of Teachers of the Law

Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.  Luke 20:46,47.
The Wicked Ways ARE
– Much concerned about looking good, looking spiritual
– Love to be honored in public
– Oppress the financially vulnerable

SEVEN: What is Righteousness?

A) what is righteousness? (Caring for “one of the least of these.”)  B) what gets you into the Kingdom (i.e. gets you “saved”) (Caring for “one of the least of these.”) Matthew 25, second half.
That’s according to this story very strongly emphasized by Jesus himself, and by his disciple Matthew. It is much, much more emphasized than several things today’s “evangelicals” love to emphasize and point fingers about!
The Wicked Ways ARE
– Not caring for “one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine.”
– Not being one of “the righteous” who live righteousness by caring for “one of the least …”

EIGHT: More on Righteousness (Justice)

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness …  Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness.“ Matthew 5:6,10
The Wicked Ways ARE
– Not hungering for righteousness (defined by ancient Hebrew usage as largely a matter of justice in society – where else would justice show up?).
– Not practicing and promoting righteousness
– and thus not being persecuted for too much emphasis on justice.

NINE: Religious Righteousness vs Kingdom Entry

Unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 5:20
The Wicked Ways ARE
– posing, keeping religious righteousness
– while dissing true righteousness
– that is,
a) hypocrisy,
b) ignoring the Word of God

I wonder, if Jesus himself could not convince the powers that be of their wickedness, can we hope to today? Well, in fact it does happen.  But for those who claim to believe in Jesus today – should they not be voluntarily, already listening to him?  To him, that is Jesus their Lord and Savior?  Well?

Jesus does make clear

  1. some things he regards as wicked (There’s a list just above, see?)
  2. and he strongly recommends people turn from such things (as God recommended to Solomon).
  3. And he speaks far, far more about these things than he does about gay sexual issues (none!) or abortion (none!) or carrying arms (1 time, which he nullifies by ordering them to put the sword down).

If we bring the Solomon passage to bear (quoted at the top), it seems we will not be delivered from disasters (climate, ag, health) for the simple reason that we prefer to hang on to our wicked ways. Whew!

We do not take Jesus seriously.

If we do not honor Jesus’ teaching, but pretend we “believe in” him and are therefore “saved”, we may be in serious trouble.  If we despise Jesus’ strong concerns – Jesus’ own heart and mind – let’s not blithely assume we are free from having to turn from our own wicked ways. Claiming to “believe in Jesus” or to have “invited Jesus into our lives” does not cut it when we clearly haven’t.

That attitude, whatever it actually is, is not faith in Christ. It displays clear contempt for Jesus “who is called Christ,” because it treats his explicit concerns and teachings with contempt.

See Also:
What If Christians Don’t Listen to Jesus? See 5 Very Short, Very Important Stories from Matthew 7
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Please add your comments below. (Personal info optional.)
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1This does not mean you “have to” agree with me about Jesus. But we do have to try to be honest with the records we have, which as it turns out do bring us a pretty coherent picture of Jesus of Nazareth and his work and teachings.

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