TODAY'S WORD FOR Thursday, July 02, 2020:
Be wary, cautious or vigilant; watch out; be careful.
Beware of the scribes, who loved to go around in long robes and gave love greetings in the market place.
KNOWLEDGE AND EXPERIENCE:
When we hear the word, beware, there is usually an association with something dangerous. One might say to a child, beware of the traffic on the street. Or in a rain storm one might say to beware of flash flooding.
In the scripture we put above, Jesus said to beware of the scribes. Our immediate reaction might be: Why would these scribes be dangerous? The scribes were experts in the Jewish laws and traditions of the temple. They controlled the temple businesses and looked for every opportunity to make a profit. They were the most wealthy, influential, and aristocratic of all Jewish sects. They were extremely upset when Jesus cleansed the temple of the money changers because it cut into their profits. They were well educated in Jewish laws and rituals, but rejected Jesus as the Messiah and were always looking for opportunities to trap Him with their questions in order to discredit Jesus in front of the people. They were lawyers and knew well how to mislead and argue.
After being questioned by the scribes Jesus spoke a warning to the crowd around Him. Jesus saw right through the outer appearances of the scribes into the sinful motive of their hearts. Jesus warned the people to be aware of the scribes because they were an evil influence and hypocrites who made a show of being very religious.
Jesus pointed out that they used their position of leadership to exploit the poor and take advantage of people in general. They had no love for God or for the people they were responsible too. They wore their long robes to show they were noted scholars and make an impression as they walked through the market place seeking recognition and esteem.
Jesus condemned the scribes for always sitting in the best seats in the Synagogue and high places of honor at the feasts just so they would be seen by all who attended. They wanted all to know how important they were. The scribes were trained to be teachers and spiritual leaders in the Synagogues and the Temple. Instead they used their positions of authority to take financial advantage of widows and cheat the poor. Their greedy and deceitful behavior misled the very people they were supposed to lead. Jesus pointed out that true religion in God’s sight is to be humble and servants of their Lord.
We, as believers, need to learn from what Jesus said and beware of showy religiosity. We are not to glory in our titles or successes bringing honor to ourselves. True religion is a relationship with Jesus in which we are dedicated to SERVING HIM AND BRINGING HONOR AND GLORY TO HIM, and to HIM only.
Our memory verse for this week is found in Philippians 1:21.
For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.
Help me to beware of those people around me that are self-righteous and make a show of being religious but are not true followers of You. May my family put Christ first in all we do and may we serve You in a way that honors You. Keep us humble and glorifying Your name in all we do.
These Family Devotional thoughts are written by Dr. Ken Phillips, Executive Director of America's Hunger
Solution, and his wife Dottie. Ken has had ministry positions
with The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, World Vision, Youth For Christ, World Opportunities International,
and World Bible Society. He also has consulted for more than 30 Christian ministries in management and stewardship
development. They have published a book called No Problems Only Situations that discusses the journey of their family.
Ken and Dottie have been married for 60 years, and have 6 children, 20 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren. Their
second book, TODAY'S WORD, includes 365 daily
devotionals and is now available for only $10.
Ken & Dottie Phillips
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