by Tim Suttle
October 12th, 2014
One of the consistent claims of Jesus in the New Testament was this idea that the heart matters. The exterior life can be deceptive; we can play games with it. So Jesus continually pointed people to the heart & to their character. He didn’t believe it was enough just to do right things. One needed to do right things for right reasons. Following the letter of the Jewish law didn’t work; at least in part because if the heart’s not in it, you miss the whole point and end up finding ways around it.
Jesus wasn’t trying to form people who knew how to follow rules. He was trying to form people’s character so they wouldn’t need rules. They would just naturally do what was right. So this has always been a big question for the people of God: How do we do this? How do we Shape human character?