45 In the hearing of all the people he said to the disciples, 46 “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues and places of honor at banquets. 47 They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
I remember when I first really came to grips with the pattern in the gospels where Jesus shows so much kindness and mercy to the sinners around him, but he’s so scathing of the religious leaders of his day.
I do see myself as something of a religious leader and if I am honest, there are times where I might slide into being more like a Pharisee than a true follower of Christ.
For me, I think it is because sometimes it is so much easier to make principles, rules and systems that people can follow than to love someone through a difficult situation.
It is so much easier to teach someone than to disciple them.
It is so much easier to point out errors than to help people find solutions.
It is so much easier to be honoured and celebrated than to humble myself.
It is easier for me to pray long prayers than to listen and wait on God.
Lord, keep me from becoming religious in the way the Pharisees were, but make me a humble and effective servant of Christ.
Written by Ps. Justin Ware