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Day 33 | Contemporary – Definition

Read Matthew 16

The word “contemporary” is defined as living or occurring during the same time. As Christians, we are called to live out our faith and to do what Scripture says in a world full of other people who are not. There is a great disconnect between Christians and non-Christians, we exist at the same time and in the same space, but we do not believe the same things. Christians are not called to isolate ourselves in a bubble. Instead, we are to go into culture and share the truth of God’s Word.

American culture promotes self-truth, self-love, sexual freedom, and self-worship, while Christ taught surrender, selflessness, sexual purity, and self-denial. As Christ-followers, we are called not only to have awareness and discernment of false teachings but also to be counter-cultural while loving those who do not believe what we believe. In verses 5–12, Jesus tells His disciples twice to “beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” At first, the disciples think Jesus is referring to physical bread, but verse 12 starts with an amazing phrase: “Then they understood.” Finally, the disciples understood Jesus wasn’t telling them to be cautious of bread but of the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

Jesus never told His disciples to ignore or run away from the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees. He told them to beware—to be cautious and alert to their danger. Jesus never told His disciples to be isolated from false teaching but to be insulated by what He had taught them. The same is true for us. We must not ignore what the world around us is teaching or promoting, but if those teachings don’t align with the Word of God, then we are to avoid them and to do our best to encourage others to avoid them as well.

Pray for discernment, especially to see what is truly good or not good.