The Pharisees were convinced they knew Scripture well. And they did, many of them having dedicated their whole lives to the study and practice of the Word of God. Yet they did not fully understand the facts that they knew, they did not grasp the implications of the words.
This is why Matthew 9:13 records Jesus pointing them back to Hosea 6:6. The Pharisees had facts, but those facts were empty. They did not understand how the Word of God was given to them so that they could treat others differently, treat others with the mercy which God had for both the Pharisees and everyone else.
The problem echoes in the question of John's disciples about fasting. The disciples of Jesus did not fast enough, did not mourn, did not weep, but instead were generally joyous and celebratory. Why the difference?
It is the difference in those who know about God and those who know God. It is the difference of a life in a relationship compared to a life lived at a distance. Consider the difference in reading about being in love and actually being in love.
Or the difference in seeing food on television and seeing food in your own kitchen. One may give you knowledge, the other brings nourishment and joy. (Well, hopefully joy.)
So what are you doing with your knowledge of God? Is it changing your life?
Are you more joyful, no matter what comes your way? I know that some difficulties pull you down from exuberance, but there's a substantial gap between exuberant and peaceful joy through Christ. It is in Christ we have peace, we have joy, and we find a relationship with God that is real.
Remember that we have a relationship with the living Christ--guided through His Word, certainly, but our relationship is with the Living God.
Let Him transform you, within and without.
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