Do you know someone who exaggerates stories?
Does your uncle exaggerate on how big the fish was that he caught in the keys?
Does your child exaggerate their teacher’s behavior toward them?
Does your wife exaggerate how dirty you keep the garage?
Growing up my best friend loved to tell stories and exaggerate. She actually had a number that we lovingly began to call her exaggeration number. Whenever she exaggerate she used the number 9. She would say, “my mom has like 900 shoes.” “We made like $9000 in girl scout cookie sales.”
My best friend was not being deceitful but rather was getting her point across. Every good storyteller exaggerates a bit.
In the scripture, we will read this week Jesus is giving his sermon on the mount. He says things like,
“And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away.” Matt. 5:30.
We know that Jesus does not want us to cut off our hand.
In another part of scripture, Jesus says, “Do not forgive only seven times but seventy-seven times seven.”
Jesus does not want us to keep a list of times we have forgiven and then cut-off a friend when they are done.
Rather, Jesus is exaggerating a solution to get a point across.
Jesus wants us to take his message seriously. He does not want us to cut off our hand but most likely wants us to pay attention to what is causing us to sin and cut that out of our lives.
Jesus does not want us to keep a list of wrongs and rights but rather wants us to forgive all the time.
At times Jesus says some things that seem strong or far-off. Today remember that Jesus was not literal in much of his preaching and behind every message was a deep care for his followers then and now.
As we hear scripture this week which might sound harsh may we remember God’s grace in it and spend time searching our own souls and how we might be convicted this week to walk closer to God and one another!
See you Sunday!