What irritated Jesus, and if the truth be known, God, about the religious elite was the way they loved to take credit for being God’s chosen–without any desire to honor or properly represent Him. They were supposed to be God’s ambassadors. Instead, while they dressed like they were important, and acted as if they had God’s hand directing them, they neither knew God, nor, desired to obey him–any more than the most clueless pagan in the Land.
There was a rich history of Godly men; Moses, Elijah and Daniel to name a few. They all led as servant-leaders; listening to God, and doing as He told them to do. They never put their responsibilities on the backs of the people. They carried the burden and led as humble servants of God. Conversely, the religious elite wore the title, but they did not have any desire to humble themselves. They were proud, haughty and self-righteous. They expected royal treatment, but they did nothing to resemble the God they supposedly served. They did more to damage the name and character of God, than did His very vocal enemies.
In today’s world, we still have such struggles. Often times, the churches’ religious elite do more to damage God’s name than God’s very vocal enemies. They sit on boards, teach classes and sit in the chairs of honor–but their lives are filled with pride and dishonesty. They look good on the outside, but, are truly dead on the inside. They make Christianity into a set of rules and regulations, and, should anyone not follow them rigorously–they condemn and reject them.
God has always, and still looks at our hearts. If we love God and desire to truly follow Him, we will be His servants. We will show love to others, serve others, and seek to please God, rather than men. Church will be a place of fellowship and service, not a forum for competition or self-promotion. Mostly, like Jesus, God’s kids will seek to serve–not be served! They will encourage, not seek to be honored. They will lay down their very lives for others–not expect others to do so for them. They will allow God to exalt–and not feel the need to self-promote. Jesus said it best, “The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted!”
God Bless You
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. 4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.
5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.
8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. 9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. 11 The greatest among you will be your servant. 12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.