Let God Take the First Place in Our Heart – Reflection on Matthew 23:6
And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi. – Matthew 23:6-7
The chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees loved and valued status, and they were eager for people to adore them, even treat them as God. When the Lord Jesus did His new work outside of the temple, more and more people followed Him. As Jesus’ reputation increased, they engendered hatred toward Jesus. For the sake of protecting their status, they had all kinds of ways to resist, condemn and deny the work of the Lord Jesus. Later, they even wanted to kill Him. It is recorded in John 11, “Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, What do we? for this man does many miracles. If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.... Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.” From these facts we clearly know that the chief priests, scribes, and Pharisees placed their own status ahead of anything else. In the end, they colluded with the Roman government leaders to crucify Jesus. They became the people who defied God and committed a heinous crime. I can see from the lessons of the failures of the Pharisees, that those who believe in God and serve Him should honor God as great and put Him first in their hearts rather than pursue fame and status, and make people worship them.
Then, when the Lord Jesus comes again, how can we avoid walking the path of the Pharisees’ failure?
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