This “Public vs. Private” is not really advice that I want to use to shape my life, but why is that?
Hypocrisy was probably the biggest criticism Jesus had for the religious leaders in Israel. Hypocrisy is probably the biggest reason Christianity is being rejected. People do see the difference between public life and private life.
How can the thing that Jesus criticized so strongly back then now be a major criticism of the religion based on His life and teachings? Where did we go wrong? I think perhaps the key lies in whether or not we embrace Jesus.
But what does “embrace Jesus” involve? Somehow I don’t think it’s about saying “Alleluia! Christ is risen!” and then eating your chocolate bunny and getting on with your life like nothing had happened.
We embrace Jesus because He never said “I’m here to start a new set of religious beliefs and practices called Christianity.” Instead, He said, “I’m here to establish God’s kingdom. Here’s what that looks like.” Then He sent the Holy Spirit. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead now allows us to embrace Jesus in all that He is and all that He taught and even in all the modern situations that no one had imagined centuries ago.
This is the real power of Easter, when we embrace Jesus with all of our weakness and inabilities through the Holy Spirit, He does in us what we cannot do in ourselves, and our beliefs and practices are good and right and pleasing to our Heavenly Father.