I’m no historian, but I believe, in order for us to truly understand what our faith in Christ is supposed to be, we have to understand it in the context of where it began: Israel in the first century AD.
Jesus came to a Jewish people, those who had lived their whole lives in the context of a Jewish faith dictated by the law of Moses. He came to a people who had been taught their whole lives that the only way to God was to totally and explicitly keep every letter of the law. He came to a people who were beaten down by a harsh religious system that had long ago become devoid of any heart and passion, and had instead been reduced to a series of a few “dos” and many, many “don’ts.”
He called them “sheep without a shepherd.” Why? Because those who were supposed to be shepherds were more interested in their own self-preservation and the propagation of their own status than they were about the poor, hungry, weary, burned out masses.
That same Jesus has a message of hope for this poor, hungry, weary generation as well. Are you tired of not feeling good enough? Are you weary with the effort of trying to keep up with a religious system Jesus never intended? Are you burned out on a system that forces you to keep a set of rules (many of which are man-made) or be judged, excluded, or excommunicated?
The same Jesus who brought hope to those sheep without a shepherd is moved with compassion over you as well. Forget them! Come to Jesus. Come now, come quickly! There is rest, there is hope, there is forgiveness, there is mercy, there is grace for you.
I know I’m beating this drum a lot lately, but it’s an important one. Please listen to the call of the Savior. His is the only voice that matters.