What Jesus had to say to Church Leaders and why it should Freak us out…Part-1

It’s easy to read the gospels and cheer on Jesus when we view the Pharisees as the bad guys in the story. But what if we re-read the gospels, and inserted our name or title in place of the Pharisees, Sadducees, and religious leaders of the day? How would that change how we interact with and follow Jesus? How would we feel if it were us He was directing His comments towards? What if it were us He was dicing up and leaving lay bare?

Getting to the desired destination and becoming the kind of person you want to be, or perhaps better said the kind of person God has dreamed up for you to become, has a lot to do with learning to ask the right questions. Jesus directed the statements below to the religious leaders of the day, and I’m pretty sure that breathing in His words and the questions below could help keep you and me on the right trajectory.

Am I flippant and foolish with my words or do I exercise maturity, thinking first of what those I am speaking with need?

“But I tell you that men will have to give account on the day of judgment for every careless word they have spoken.”  Matthew 12:36

Do I know, and regularly experience, the power of God’s Word first hand in my life?

“Jesus replied, ‘You are in error because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God.’”  Matthew 22:29

Am I a productive and useful servant?

“Therefore I tell you that the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people who will produce its fruit.”  Matthew 21:43

Am I better at teaching the word of God or living it?

“The teachers of religious law and the Pharisees are the official interpreters of the law of Moses. So practice and obey whatever they tell you, but don’t follow their example. For they don’t practice what they teach.”  Matthew 23:2-3

Do I hunger more for the approval of men or my heavenly Father?

“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. And they love to sit at the head table at banquets and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called Rabbi.”  Matthew 23:5-7

Posted in Leadership, Spiritual Formation

7 Responses to “What Jesus had to say to Church Leaders and why it should Freak us out…Part-1”

  1. David Alexander February 4, 2010 at 9:25 am #

    It’s certanily harder to live for Jesus than our own desires. We must all rely on God’s Grace, not ourslves or what we think we can do and be.
    I think Jesus was talking to us as well, as the Religious leaders. We should be freaked out.

  2. Tom Osypian February 4, 2010 at 1:30 am #


    Great post. Very thought provoking. So good to see you blogging and sharing your thoughts. I learned so much from you when we worked together and I’m looking forward to again learning from you through this blog.

  3. Adam Brixey February 4, 2010 at 3:05 am #

    Great to see you blogging and sharing your thoughts – hope all is well with you and the family. Had more to comment, but it gives me a character limit, so that’ll have to do smile
    Best wishes

  4. paul alexander February 4, 2010 at 9:45 am #

    Thanks for your comments guys, and for following! Hope this and future posts push all of us to continue to grow and rethink things.

  5. Jim Bitner March 5, 2013 at 10:06 am #


    Sounds like a father talking to a son, or in this instance, the Son talking to his children.

    So simple – be holy as He is Holy – and yet so slippery to grasp.

    Appreciate the clarity you bring and the challenge to not only read the Word but live It.

    Grace and Peace,


  6. Mark Gibbons May 29, 2016 at 9:42 pm #

    Interesting way to look at it Paul. Was there a Part 2? I just saw your link on twitter today (05/30/16) and noticed it was originally penned back in 2010. I’m a new follower to you on twitter, and interested to check out more of your blog articles.

    • Paul Alexander May 29, 2016 at 10:48 pm #

      Mark, glad you’re enjoying the posts…even the old ones 🙂 yes there was a part-2 – search for it in the search bar and it will come up!

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