Jesus said, “Do not lie and do not do what you hate, because all things are revealed in the sight of heaven. For nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothings is covered that will remain covered.” (v.6)
I love that the first thing Jesus tells them is don’t offer to take on religious burdens that you hate doing, the very fact that you hate it means your every action and deed in those offerings to God is a lie, you aren’t fooling him nor are you endearing yourself to him. At the same time he seems to be suggesting that fasting, prayer, giving to the poor, keeping a special diet are all acceptable offerings and practices if the one doing them does so with a heart of joy so that it’s not really a sacrifice but a pleasure to perform such deeds for the one being served.
An example would be, I would detest always allowing someone else to have their way in things, yet for someone I’m in love with, I would submit to her whims all the time because I take joy in knowing what she desires pleases her, so the very action I detest becomes an action of joy and the idea of it being a sacrifice is left void and without meaning.
Why would God be interested in such things? I don’t know and I don’t care. There is one thing I have learned in seeking wisdom, start with Unconditional Love, which never asks Why? Who is going to be favored the person who needs an explanation and a reason or the one that is waiting on baited breath just to be asked to do something by the one they love? God may give out Unconditional Love to all of humanity (He most certainly does) but it’s a mistake to assume God doesn’t have favorites and that favoritism is not based on what we do but how we do it!
I find it incredibly wonderful that the Truths of God are revealed and explained, to some extent, in all the religions of the world. No one religion has monopoly on Truth, though zealots will always insist that is just the case for their own religion, and they also never seem to see themselves in the zealots of other religions insisting on the same thing, using their own scripture to point out to others why they are right. Well, Jesus and others, taught that it will all be revealed eventually:
“God said, ‘Did I not tell you that I know what is hidden in the heavens and the earth, and that I know what you reveal and what you conceal?'” (Qur’an 2:33b)
“He reveals mysteries from the darkness and brings the deep darkness into light.” (Job 12:22)
These are Truths confirmed in each other in 3 different faiths, Judaism, Muslim, and Christianity. It’s really time to stop looking at other faiths as how they are different and start examining them for conformation of what we already believe and find our similarities. I’m not telling people to quit proselytizing their faith, just allow people to be who they believe they are meant to be and listen instead of judge. If we all examine how we are spiritual and spent our effort in becoming joyous in what we do, baring the actions that hurt others (no one should take joy in killing another’s spiritual life), then our individual lives will become deeper, fuller, and richer and we as a race will become kinder and more gentle, the type of humanity that deserves to inherit the Earth.