Read His Words Before Ours!
Any man would be a fool not to envy me.
I am a Hebrew, through and through. Born in Tarsus, I was raised in Jerusalem.
I cut my teeth on the Law, and was educated in the way of our fathers at the hand of the famous Rabbi Gamaliel.
I am of the tribe of Benjamin, and my lineage is untainted by Gentile blood.
I hold the Roman citizenship so many covet by birthright.
I am truly blessed by God.
My righteousness is perfect.
I am also a Pharisee, set apart, tasked and privileged to discern and uphold the Law as it applies to our people. My zeal and passion for the Way are unmatched.
Scores of so-called “Christians” will rot in prison by my hand, men and women alike.
As well they should!
Anyone who would dare challenge our holy tradition, or our God, deserves to die.
Who do they think they are?
They think that a man has come to fulfill the Law? They are out of their minds!
Clearly, God does not stand for such outrage.
Why else would he deliver so many of them into my hands?
I uphold the inspired word of God, the Torah, in addition to the rich, important traditions our people have developed over generations. I adhere to and help enforce all 600 of our laws strictly, just as I adhere to and enforce our important traditions. Our traditions and our laws work together to pave the way to righteousness.
I lead by example, and I expect nothing less than what I myself give: perfection.
All one must do is follow the rules, like I do. It isn’t impossible. I do it every single day!
And I can thank myself for my own holiness. And God, of course…but mostly, me.
I mean, sure, He laid out the Law for us, so there’s that, but all the work I’ve put in, the way I restrain myself from all evil, that is my work alone. I have made myself a good person.
I am the one who toes the line and makes sure to keep in step with the holy traditions we have implemented.
I am the one who upholds God’s laws.
It is I who pursue and punish these Christians who fail to value our Way.
Just today, a man, a Christian named Stephen was stoned by my counterparts.
I wholeheartedly approved when they laid their garments at my feet.
I wouldn’t want any blasphemer’s blood staining my robe, either!
Although, I can’t seem to shake the look in his eyes during those final moments…
So clear. So focused. So…forgiving.
It was enough to give me pause.
For a moment, I felt like what they were doing, what we are doing, might be wrong, somehow.
But it couldn’t be.
I’m, we’re, merely upholding our Way, exactly as I, we’ve, been taught. This is the Way.
Everything I’ve ever known has been preparing me for this time, this moment.
My mission is to scrub the earth of these infidels who would challenge our, God’s, Way.
And I will succeed!
But… If I am being honest.. I know the truth.
Truth I’ll never admit to a soul, barely even myself.
Truth that haunts me.
This weight of perfection, it looms heavy in my chest these days.
Day in and day out, I wonder if this will be the day when I will fail and my humanity will rear its ugly head and I will slip up. There are so many rules, so many laws. Sometimes fear grips me because if ever my heart were known by anyone, they would see that though outwardly I am flawless, my heart is empty and cold.
And truthfully, even the outer deeds …
Make me weary.
And as much as I try to forget, my mind keeps returning to that stoning I witnessed.
That man… Stephen. I’ll never forget that moment. That man. Those eyes.
That feeling of blood on my hands….
What if God saw him as innocent?
The thought makes my insides shudder and I shut it out.
As that first stone was hurled toward him, Stephen’s eyes caught mine, and in that instant time stood still.
I still can’t shake the sense that he saw right through me. Through my titles and education. Through my citizenship, and bloodline, and associations. Through the facade I have almost managed to convince myself is real.
The others, they were so angry. They picked up their stones with religious fervor and righteous anger, I know, but in that moment it felt… Wrong.
He saw through everything. And he…forgave?
Yes, he forgave.
What if there’s something I am missing for all the things I do right?
Embracing God’s fullness in our lives is rooted in scripture and memorizing His word is vital to our continued growth and depth with Jesus. Tap and hold from your mobile device to download this week’s verse and make it your phone’s lockscreen!