JESUS WARNS US ABOUT CERTAIN PEOPLE
LUKE 20:45-47 NKJ
45 Then, in the hearing of all the people, He said to His disciples, 46 "Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, 47 who devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation."
Looking at Jesus past the cross and resurrection, we can't imagine anyone challenging Him and taking Him on regarding truth. Yet, in this chapter, we see Jesus, once again, surrounded by people trying to trick Him, corner Him, and catch Him in His words.
So it's quite safe to say that Jesus understands pressure. Especially the pressure of persecution and opposition.
After answering those who were trying to trap Him, Jesus spoke openly to His followers, warning them about the scribes.
Jesus had a problem with people who used God to create a favorable environment for themselves.
These scribes loved the praise and honor of men. They wanted to be recognized. They wanted the best seats in church and the best places at feasts.
And yet these were the very people who would take from society's most vulnerable, the widows. And they would make long prayers to be seen. Their prayers were not genuine and heartfelt. They were for show, not go.
These were the people who Jesus was not at all pleased with. He loved them but did not appreciate their ways. Of all the people Jesus encountered during His time on earth, His strongest rebukes were reserved for the people filled with religious pride.
I wish I could tell you that the Pharisees, Sadducees, and scribes were a product of the past. But that would not be accurate.
Pride is still with us. Religious pride is still with us, and it ain't pretty.
People still use God as a means for power, prestige, and personal gain. Religious pride is the source of much of the online hatred spread by Christians. We get trolled more on our social media sites by Christians than we do unbelievers. How sad! Jesus did not like it then, and He can't be pleased now.
To paraphrase Paul in 1 Corinthians 4:7, everything we have we received from God. And if we received it, why are we acting and bragging as if we did it ourselves?
God's wisdom is pure, peaceable, gentle, teachable, and has no hypocrisy. May we be delivered from people with religious pride, and may we not go that way ourselves.