Theme: THE DANGER OF HYPOCRISY
Text: “Beware of the scribes, which desire to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the markets, and the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts …the same shall receive greater damnation.” – Luke 20:46, 47.
Comment: Jesus Christ told his true followers to distance themselves from the pious and holier-than-thou attitude of the scribes, who are said to belong to the sect of the Pharisees and who were also public teachers of the law. The problem with them was that they exploited the people’s religious zeal by pretending to be godly just for impressions’ sake. Phylacteries were “strips of parchment with Scripture–texts on them, worn on the forehead, arm, and side, in time of prayer”.
The Scribes made theirs to be extra large. God gave the Jews a law that they should “put upon the fringe of the borders (of their garments) a ribband of blue” so that they “may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD” (Numbers 15:37-41) In making their own garments the Scribes made theirs extra large, not because they want to enhance their disposition to righteousness but to gain acknowledgment at public places, such as the markets. Their insisting on the highest seats in the synagogues, and the chief rooms at feasts was of course in line with their love for vainglory and worldliness. “For they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.” (John 12:43) As Christians we should cultivate the virtues of honesty, sincerity, truthfulness, St. Paul exhorts: “Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.” – Philippians 2:3.