Living a life for Jesus is living contrary to our culture

Jesus often warns his followers to not be hypocrites. As an example of who not to emulate, he usually singles out the religious leaders. This is a sobering thought for anyone on a church staff or who has a following of spiritual seekers. Don’t be a hypocrite!

Apparently Jesus realizes how easy it is for religious leaders to succumb to hypocrisy. In their zeal to pursue God and guide their people, they often give instructions that they themselves cannot or will not follow. Their words don’t align with their actions. They’re hypocritical. This was as real in Jesus’s time as it is for us today.

While it’s easy to see hypocrisy in others, it’s more difficult to see it in ourselves. Surely this warning against being hypocritical applies to others and not us. We would never act like that. Yet as soon as we think this, we should probably receive it as a sign to examine ourselves with great care.

Jesus ends one of his teachings against hypocrisy with two confounding statements:

To Be Great, We Must Serve: When we think of leadership in our world today, we seldom think about service. In fact, our common view of great people is that they expect others to serve them. This is backwards for Jesus. He says when we serve others, then we will become great. But this doesn’t necessarily mean we become great in our world, but we will become great in his. Which is more important?Jesus says when we serve others, then we will become great. Click To Tweet

To Be Exalted, We Must Be Humble: Next Jesus warns that people who try to promote themselves, that is to elevate themselves, will end up being embarrassed. They will be humiliated. Ultimately, the person who takes on true humility will in the end be exalted. Though this sometimes occurs in our world today, it will most certainly happen in our future spiritual reality with Jesus.

In these verses we see a clear call from Jesus to serve with humility. We must grasp this concept. Then we must do it. A failure to do so may be a form of hypocrisy. But when we serve with humility, we point the world to him.

[Read through the New Testament of the Bible this year. Today’s reading is Matthew 23, and today’s post is on Matthew 23:11-12.]

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