On occasions Jesus condemned the motives and desires of the most prestigious in Israels religious ranks. Jesus statements concerning these religiously prestigious persons was so unthinkable that his closest disciples were astounded. (See Matthew 15:12.)
Matthew 23:12 is among Jesus most critical statements of these people known as the Pharisees. Please note three things. (1) When they read scripture (i.e., "sat on Moses seat"), they should be heeded. They shared Gods instructions, not theirs. (2) Yet, they had no concern for people. They were judges of others weaknesses or failures. They were unconcerned about encouraging or helping. They enjoyed making loads heavy, not assisting in carrying loads. (3) They loved occupying positions of prestige. They were certain of their significance! They loved others confirming their significance.
Jesus directive is chilling! When they speak from scripture, listen. However, do not act like they act. Gods key to spiritual greatness is found in humility, not in prestige.
It is easy to criticize the Pharisees. It is equally easy to repeat their mistakes. God was humble enough to care about us while we were yet sinners (Romans 5:8). God was compassionate enough to send His son to us to direct us to Him (the way, the truth, the lifeJohn 14:6, 7). God was (is) forgiving enough to cleanse us even when He knows we will fail again (1 John 1:5-10). None of us stand approved before God because we are so good, but because we are sanctified and justified in Jesus.
It is quite humbling to realize this: what God through Jesus Christ does for me each day He does for every other man and woman in Christ each day. No Christian is given the prerogative of judging those in Christ. Every Christian has the privilege of encouraging those in Christ. May the Lord say of each of us, Follow his/her example. Never let Him say of us, Do not behave like he/she behaves.
Link to other Writings of David Chadwell