Religious Pride and Deception 11

Jeremiah 8:8 “How can you say, ‘We are wise, And the law of the LORD is with us’? But behold, the lying pen of the scribes Has made it into a lie. 11 “They heal the brokenness of the daughter of My people superficially, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ But there is no peace.

Matthew 21:10 When He had entered Jerusalem, all the city was stirred, saying, “Who is this?” 11 And the crowds were saying, “This is the prophet Jesus, from Nazareth in Galilee.” 12 And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. 13 And He said to them, “It is written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER’; but you are making it a ROBBERS’ DEN.” 14 And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. 15 But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that He had done, and the children who were shouting in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David,” they became indignant 16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these children are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, ‘OUT OF THE MOUTH OF INFANTS AND NURSING BABIES YOU HAVE PREPARED PRAISE FOR YOURSELF’?”

In this passage the pride and self-centeredness of the scribes is obvious. These were men who did all their religious actions to be seen of men, but then Jesus came along and spoke harsh things about them. This same Jesus who condemned them entered Jerusalem and the people cam out in droves to see Him. Not only did the people come out to see Him, but He cast people out of the temple and yet healed the blind and the lame who came to Him at the temple. What we have is a contrast between what was going on at the temple between those that the scribes and the Pharisees supported in making money and Jesus who healed the blind and the lame. We also see that Jesus said that the temple was to be a house of prayer, but instead the traditions of men had turned it into a robber’s den. Then, of all things, when the scribes and the chief priests saw all the wonderful things that Jesus was doing, they also had to endure the children crying out to Jesus “Hosanna to the Son of David.”

This was more than the pride of the scribes could take. They were indignant at all of this and wanted Jesus to shut the children up. In His response to them, however, Jesus was pointed and even acidic. Certainly they were insulted when one that was not schooled as they were asked them if they had never read part of the Scriptures which they had great pride in being experts in. Jesus did not just simply correct them, He went after their pride and self-centeredness. He exposed the hearts of these religious leaders for all to see if they have eyes to see.

Proud men do not like to see those who oppose them do well. Jesus was doing very well at getting the people to recognize Him and they called Him a prophet. The proud hearts of the scribes did not want Jesus to get the attention and they did not like Him to be called a prophet since they were the experts with the Law of God. Oh how we should look at the proud hearts of the scribes and how they must have fumed inwardly and hated Jesus at times like this. Oh how they wanted to be seen of the people and honored by the people, but here was that unschooled man named Jesus who was being honored by the people instead of them.

The scribes and the Pharisees were later very involved in the murder of Jesus. We can see how events like these would have the hearts of the scribes blinded by that hatred and by His comments to them. We can see how it would be to proud men that the people loved Jesus and not them. It would hurt their pride when the people thought of Jesus as prophet and did not value them as they thought Jesus should. They were blinded toward Jesus because of their pride and self-centeredness and their great blindness enabled them to plan the murder of Jesus and to do so with great relish. But we must not stand in judgment of the scribes without looking to our own hearts. We must bow to the living God and ask Him to deliver us from pride or we will be deceived by our own proud hearts. We must realize that our own hearts may rise in indignation when others get recognition and we don’t. The scribes were deservedly denounced for that they did, but we must turn the mirror to look at our own hearts as well. We are of the same nature as the scribes and we can be blinded by pride too. Pride is a great sin and a sin that blinds us to ourselves and other sin as well. We must seek the Lord for humility that we can see the things pride has blinded us to over and over again.

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