Influencing Culture: Jesus’ Model vs the Pharisees’ Model (re:group Day Two)

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influence cultureIn yesterday's post I gave you a quick overview of a second day breakout called Training Leaders to Engage Culture. If you haven't read it, you might want to go back and catch up.

One of the big takeaways was embedded in a careful look at the difference between Jesus' model for influencing culture vs the Pharisees' model for influencing culture. Sharing an insight into Jesus' model, the presenter (Tim Cooper) talked about an incident that Matthew records in Matthew 9:9-13:

"As Jesus went on from there, he saw a man named Matthew sitting at the tax collector’s booth. 'Follow me,' he told him, and Matthew got up and followed him.

10 While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew’s house, many tax collectors and sinners came and ate with him and his disciples. 11 When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, 'Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?'

12 On hearing this, Jesus said, 'It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13 But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'"

Pointing to verse 13 and citing an insight from Richard Beck's Unclean, Cooper noted that sacrifice is intentionally moving toward purity (away from what is impure) while mercy is moving toward what is different.

"The Pharisees, seeking purity, pull away from the sinners. Jesus, seeking fellowship, moves toward the sinners." —Richard Beck, Unclean: Meditations on Purity, and Mortality.

The Pharisees, seeking purity, pull away from the sinners. Jesus, seeking fellowship, moves toward the sinners. —Richard Beck Share on X

And once again, I have to circle back to a great question from the breakout: "What's encouraging your small group leaders to push through their natural instinct to avoid people God is trying to influence?"

What do you think? Want to argue? Have a question? You can click here to jump into the conversation.

Further Reading:

Image by Rachel Kramer

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  1. Roger Carr on May 10, 2016 at 6:33 pm

    No argument here. We need to break culture to engage culture.

  2. markchowell on May 11, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    True almost everywhere and in every situation.