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