A few years ago, I began to experience pain in my stomach. Or at least I thought it was my stomach. The pain happened under my ribs. And it felt like it moved. It seemed to travel across my body. It lasted for a few minutes after eating and then went away. I noticed it was especially worse after I drank orange juice or ate something that had grease in it. So I went to see my doctor. He sent me to get an x-ray and ultrasound. These revealed stones in my gall bladder.
The gall bladder shoots out this deadly stuff onto food as it travels through your body. This stuff or gall helps the body break the food down so it can be absorbed. Well, when I drank orange juice or ate greasy foods, the gall bladder would squeeze hard to get that gall out. But as it squeezed, it pushed on the stones and that caused the pain.
So I was sent to a surgeon. He told me about the need to remove the gall bladder and how they did it. Then I waited for a surgery date which came one year later. It was good experience for a pastor. On that day, I was the one prepped for the surgery by various medical teams. I was the one rolled into the surgery theater. I was the one who crawled onto the surgery table. And the last thing I remember was the surgeon above me with a raised kitchen knife ready to plunge it into my belly. (Well, maybe it wasn’t quite a kitchen knife). I woke up later and began the process of recovery; which included a drink of orange juice. And for the first time in 3 years, I could drink orange juice without subsequent pain.
Many of you have had similar experiences. Though you’d rather not have to see a doctor or get some tests, in the end, it can be a good thing to correct something wrong inside of us. Seeing a doctor who diagnoses out health can lead to longer term health. The same is truly spiritually. We all need regular checkups to determine the state of our spiritual hearts. It is good we can keep going. But if there’s something wrong it can be addressed. All of us have this recurring problem of sin in our hearts.
If we neglect spiritual checkup, our hearts can drift far from God. Today, we are going to discover symptoms of a heart far from God. We’ve got the best doctor to come and examine us today. His name is Jesus. We’re going to see him go to work as He diagnoses the Pharisees heart. Through His work, we will discover symptoms of a heart far from God and the prescription necessary to address those symptoms.