Hypocrisy or Servanthood

Matthew 23: 1-12

         We are going through the final scenes of Jesus’ life before the cross.  He certainly does not seem to be trying to make friends with the religious establishment.  Interesting.  Today he confronts the hypocrisy of the Pharisees.  It is not what they teach but the way they model their faith.

Perhaps we could say that what I believe is foundational to my life but if I do not live out those beliefs then I am a “resounding gong or a clanging cymbal (1Corinthians 13:1), a lot of noise and no substance.  The passage shows us what false spirituality looks like.  It ends admonishing us to be humble and be servants of others.

                  “23 Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples, ‘The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses’ seat; therefore, do whatever they teach you and follow it; but do not do as they do, for they do not practice what they teach. They tie up heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on the shoulders of others; but they themselves are unwilling to lift a finger to move them. They do all their deeds to be seen by others; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long. They love to have the place of honor at banquets and the best seats in the synagogues, and to be greeted with respect in the market-places, and to have people call them rabbi. But you are not to be called rabbi, for you have one teacher, and you are all students. And call no one your father on earth, for you have one Father—the one 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 All who exalt themselves will be humbled, and all who humble themselves will be exalted.”

         It is easy to judge others and see their weaknesses but during Lent we look into our own hearts and ask ourselves if there are ways in which we act proudly, seek attention and control, or demand of others a life style we ourselves cannot live up to.  I find it easy to bow my head in shame when the light of the Gospel shines on me for indeed I am fallible.  But the last word in this passage is “exalted.”  There is a God who sees and knows the motives of our hearts and knows our honest desires for our families and friends.  He will reward.  Let us renew our desire to be servants of others today and look to God for our rewards.  Blessings.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: