Woes of the Pharisees

The usual dramatic name for something that is common to Luke and Matthew, but is not in Mark. This is a list of things Yeshua hates (it's the word he uses) about the Pharisees. The one that rocked me when I read it is the following:

What sorrow awaits you teachers of religious law and you Pharisees. Hypocrites! For you shut the door of the Kingdom of Heaven in people’s faces. You won’t go in yourselves, and you don’t let others enter either.

What rocked me about it is that it applies to me so directly. I had lost my faith when I was a child, realizing that I couldn't be a good Christian no matter how the Gospels talked to me, because of my wickedly sinful nature. I left the Church formally in Germany, some time in the late 90es, but even worse I left my faith behind to the point I believed to be an atheist.

It took me many years to understand what was going on, and it was only divine intervention that saved me. I read the Bible, while preparing for the Jesus novel, and I got through the Gospel of Mark. There it hit me, the force of the word of Yeshua, it stood out amongst the words of the authors like a titan amongst dwarves. I read it and it gripped me, and over a year I converted back to my faith.

And now I read this again. I am the one in whose face the door of the Kingdom of Heaven was shut, and it was only by god's infinite grace that I lived long enough to return into his fold. 

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