Updated: Sep 1, 2020
There was a group of “religious” leaders during the time of Jesus that had set themselves up pretty good. They would preach the Law and then make excuses for themselves to break it. Hmmm sounds like some politicians we are seeing every day in the news doesn’t it? Power always corrupts and then the desire goes from wanting to help others to using that position to elevate our own position.
Of course with man’s intervention into the Law and into this relationship with God everything got out of place and what was so pure became something so evil. Jesus spoke candidly about what it took to be a leader. In Matthew 23:11 Jesus says The greatest among you must be a servant.
This very small and simple sentence said it all in the area of serving and becoming great!! But we don’t want to be servants in our American culture. In fact, it is a slam to be considered a “servant!” “Why…… I’m not gonna serve nobody but myself and not even me if I can help it.” Wow!! There goes that “Jesus” attitude right out the window. The religious leaders of the day were indignant when they heard the words of Jesus on this subject and it caused them to hate Him even more.
So this is what Jesus is seeing. A bunch of “religious” guys abusing God’s Law, which was actually abusing Jesus because He is the Law. None of them want to serve, but have others serve them, which is the opposite of what God intends. Lesson to self: If you are trying to force rights for yourself you are going about the whole situaton the wrong way and the end result is havoc and unfulfilled needs. All of that comes from selfishness, no matter how you try to package it. I had a little issue with bullying when I was in the seventh grade and I remember the people who did it. Of course, I had to learn to forgive that wrong so I could move on and I did. How tragic it would have been for me to never let that go and keep it with me into every relationship, every life circumstance, and for every person I meet. I would be a tainted person and every future decision in my life would be made out of that hate, which has selfishness at it’s root. Jesus got me beyond that hurt and I never even gave it an extra thought when I gave it to him. Had I not gotten beyond that with true forgiveness I would have been an instigator for hurt and hatred, not love and service. Jesus exposes wrong attitudes about handling people who are hurting and needing hope. In the following scripture He lowered the “BOOM” on those doing it wrong and exposed who they really were. As believers we are all sinners forgiven and we preach that forgiveness knowing that to do anything else is to spread confusion and hatred.
The Pharisees couldn’t buy into this way of living so Jesus put “the boom” on them in Matthew 23:1 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, 2 “The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. 3 So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach. 4 They crush people with unbearable religious demands and never lift a finger to ease the burden. 5 “Everything they do is for show. On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. 6 And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. 7 They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi.’
Right now we have a lot of voices saying a lot of things and we have the tendency to believe and jump on every bandwagon out there that sounds credible. But it might be a point of wisdom if all of us take a step back and look at the whole situation and see what God wants us to do to make it better. As believers we know that those who don’t have Jesus have no hope and their reasoning is totally messed up. So it is a no-brainer to realize we don’t hitch our wagon of service to them. So how do we help the situation? We take on the servant attitude that Jesus injected into everyone who has been changed by Him and mirror a life of service to those who are very selfish and evil and let the love of God change them. Without God intervening we are running in circles anyway, so pray for God to work through you every day to show the love of Jesus to one person at a time. It worked for Jesus and it will work for you.
The Pilgrimage continues…..