Do you qualify?

Here’s my quote of the week:

“in the kingdom of God, the one thing that qualifies you is knowing that you don’t qualify, and the one thing that disqualifies you is thinking that you do.

Consider the string of accounts in Matthew’s Gospel that we have touched upon. In every passage, a central character assumes that one has to ‘qualify’ to gain some corresponding approval.

  • The disciples thought little children needed to qualify by being a certain age in order to gain Jesus’ attention (19:13-15).
  • The rich young man thought he needed to qualify by law-keeping in order to gain eternal life (19:16-22).
  • Peter and company thought they had to qualify by making a sacrifice in order to gain a reward (19:23-30).
  • The workers who were hired early thought all employees had to qualify by doing sufficient work in order to gain a day’s wage (20:1-16).
  • In our moments of spiritual sanity, you and I know that we are no different. We tend to assume that in order for God to approve of us — really approve of us — we need to qualify. And at that moment, the gospel has shifted out of the burning fireplace of our heart and into the cold and dusty attic of self-contribution. A Christian is not someone who has been enrolled in the moral hall of fame. A Christian is a happily recovering Pharisee.”
  • -Dane Ortlund “Defiant Grace”

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