28 A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. 29 No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.
This passage makes me think of when God sent Samuel to the House of Jesse to find the next King of Israel. He passed by all the older brothers who on the outside looked the part; tall, dark, handsome, strong and smart. But God did not look at the outwardly, but to the inside. God loved David because He knew in David’s heart was a man who pursued God and God’s desires. It is shocking that the Jews would forget this story and all the analogies that come with it when it came to the issue of the observation of the law. But maybe it’s not so shocking at all. It is an introspective look at the condition of the human heart and our propensity to be exclusivists. I can see the parallels with Christians today and our tendencies to build little safe bubbles or draw lines to keep the world out of our ‘Godly’ affairs. Maybe we are more like the Jews than we think we are? We are so quick to judge from the outside aren’t we? Oh how we really need the Lord! (Josh)
Thoughts for the day
- How do you judge others?
- What do you feel God is telling you through this passage?
- What is one way you can apply this truth to your life today?
- Who can you encourage with this story/message?
Pray for an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon Shanghai Community Fellowship.