A man is not a Jew if he is only one outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a man is a Jew if he is one inwardly...
Thoughts for Today:I grew up with a man who wanted to be a cowboy. He loved everything there was about being a cowboy: the ranch life, horses, cattle, the outdoors, and of course the attire. He took to wearing a cowboy hat, jeans and boots. He even developed a little drawl and started to use words like "crik" instead of "creek", etc. However, none of these outward expressions made him a cowboy because he still lived in Huntington Beach, California and went to the same high school as I did. He was a "pretender".
I met him again recently -- now he is truly "the real deal" -- an honest to goodness cowboy. He lives and works on a ranch and has done so for the last 32 years. I joked with him about how funny it was growing up in "Surf City USA", yet dressing like a cowboy. We had a good laugh -- he told me he was just born in the wrong place and about a hundred years too late. He had spent the rest of his life correcting this oversight.
In our passage today, Paul is speaking to the "pretenders" -- those who dress and look the part of the circumcision, but it is only an outward appearance. Paul goes on to explain that what makes a man a Jew is what's on the inside: "...a man is a Jew if he is one on the inside." You've probably realized by now, my friend had never really been a "pretender" -- on the inside he was always a cowboy. What about you -- what are you on the inside?
Questions to Ponder:The dictionary defines "facade" as: the way something or somebody appears on the surface. My friend spent a lifetime reconciling his outward life with his inner being. He never had to do that with his faith because he has always been a strong Christian -- in every observable way. Too often our lives do not reflect what we profess to believe. Take a long hard look at your own -- is it a facade -- are you a Christian in "attire" only? What needs to change?