Main reference: Lk 14
What is true faith and duty? True faith and duty is acting according to God’s will. God’s will is promised in the Bible.
“Jesus asked the Pharisees and the experts in the law, ‘Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath or not?’ But they remained silent. So taking hold of the man, he healed him and sent him away. Then he asked them, ‘If one of you has a son or an ox that falls into a well on the Sabbath day, will you not immediately pull him out?’” (Lk 14:1-6).
Also in John 5, Jesus received persecution for healing the sick on the Sabbath day. He said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I, too, am working […] the Son can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.” The Jews became angry and “tried to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his (Jesus) own Father.” Again, Jesus said that God had entrusted him the authority to judge, making known that he, indeed, received that authority. He also said, “Whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life.”
With this real background context in mind, let us examine the difference between Jesus and the Pharisees and the Jews.
Because Jesus was in God the Father, he knew about the past events that occurred since the time of Adam. The Jews and the Pharisees did not know what happened in the past (sins committed), nor did they know about their current state. They thought that they were the only orthodoxy on this earth, the righteous among the unrighteous, and the chosen people and family of God. They did not realize that they and their ancestors were slaves to sin, thus sinners under the devil. Ignorant of the previous 4,000 years of history recorded in the Bible, they knew only the laws of Moses about Sabbath. They thought that offering a service on the Sabbath was all they had to do as a believer.
Although Israel began worshiping gentile gods since the time of King Solomon, they did not realize that God had left them. They believed only in the laws of Moses, and because they did not believe in the words of the prophets, they were not able to know the prophecies and recognize Jesus when he appeared. As written in John 8, they stubbornly held on to the law and had no knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures (Hos 4:6).
God was not able to rest because the chosen people sinned. Because He was doing the work of restoration and recreation, Jesus said, “I work because my Father is working.” The Jews, however, knew only of the Sabbath rest found in the law of Moses, so they argued against him.
If Adam had not sinned, if Canaan’s father Ham had not sinned, if King Solomon had not sinned, then there would have been no reason for Jesus to come and die on the cross. There would be no reason for the work of recreation to take place and no reason for God to set another day for the Sabbath rest.
Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies that God had made through the Old Testament prophets (Jn 19:30), and he prophesied of the New Testament. It has been 2,000 years since he last prophesied. This gospel had been preached to the ends of the earth and has reached our nation today, where the New Testament fulfilled according to his promises. The Jews and the Pharisees did not perceive that the Old Testament fulfilled in their time at the First Coming. Likewise, today the Christian Council of Korea (CCK) does not understand the New Testament, so can they possibly perceive that New Testament is fulfilling?
They hold on to their pride, love for money and authority, and the greed to rise above others. They claim that they are the only orthodoxy. They worshiped gentile gods (of Japan) during the Japanese colonization. How is this any different from the time of King Solomon when he worshiped gentile gods? Are they not the same? Can they still be considered as the orthodoxy? How are they different from the Jews at the First Coming who did not come out to Jesus, the light and the truth, in fear that their dark sins would be revealed? Hiding in darkness, they boasted of their authority and accused Jesus of being a heretic and a cult. The evil spirit in them provoked their hearts, creating internal conflicts. As their hearts got dragged into becoming slaves to the evil desire, they began creating disputes, rejecting the one God had sent, and interfering to bring God’s work into ruin. They went as far as crucifying Jesus on the cross. God knew of these things, so he allowed Jesus to be offered as an atoning sacrifice for the sins of all mankind.
True faith comes from hearing, seeing, and perceiving. Having a duty is to do all that one has been entrusted with as a way to repay the grace he had received. Casting aside the duty and raising oneself above others is pride and an act of opposing the Lord. That is why Jesus said, “Do not take the place of honor […] but take the lowest place” (Lk 14:7-14). In other words, one must humble himself. He also said, “When you give a banquet, invite the poor” rather than the rich. Even if the rich is invited, they all alike make excuses saying, “I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.” “I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I’m on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.” “I just got married, so I can’t come.” Therefore, he said to invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind (Lk 14:15-24).
What kind of people are the poor? What kind of people are the rich? I believe that you already know the answers so I will not explain further.
Next, let us examine the qualifications to become Jesus’ disciples.
“Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: ‘If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be my disciple. And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple’” (Lk 14:25-27). Such person is a true believer and one who does all his duty.
He also said in parables, “For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’” He explained again in another way, “Salt is good, but if it loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?” (Lk 14:28-35). The foundation is the twelve tribes. The twelve foundations are set, but if we are unable to complete building the house above them, we will become like the salt that loses its saltiness and everyone will ridicule. The foundations of God’s new kingdom the twelve tribes have already been laid and what is remaining is the construction of the building (temple). Shouldn’t we work toward its completion? Are you only going to observe? As Jesus’ disciples, let us offer our lives and work toward establishing the building (temple of New Jerusalem). Must we become the objects of ridicule and become the salt that loses its saltiness?
Shouldn’t we reflect on the worth of our life of faith? Not running for this purpose and causing trouble are actions that have nothing to do with the Lord’s will. We must become one in heart and one in purpose and give our all. Wouldn’t the Lord know who has true faith and who pretends to have faith? Wouldn’t the Lord know of those who work toward completing this duty and those who neglect their duties and act however they please? Therefore, we must give our utmost effort to become people of duty with true faith. We must always think about the martyrs. Even after his martyrdom, Jesus went to the spirits of those who died to do the work of salvation (refer to 1 Pt 3, 4).
Let us also work together.