Jesus continued His denunciation of the religious elites of His day, exposing their hypocrisy to His disciples and the people around Him. “Everything they do is for show,” He said.
“On their arms they wear extra wide prayer boxes with Scripture verses inside, and they wear robes with extra long tassels. And they love to sit at the head table at banquets, and in the seats of honor in the synagogues. They love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces, and to be called ‘Rabbi'”. Matthew 23 :5-7 NLT
As human beings, we have a very strong tendency to live for show. We cannot see the heart, as God does, and thus what we can see, the show, takes on too much importance for us. We are surprised to find that an outstanding athlete or a gorgeous model are truly horrible people to live with.
This regard for appearances can all too easily find its way into our religious life, too. Do we attend church every Sunday to meet with God, or to impress our neighbors with our dedication? Does our treatment of our immediate family, in private, where no one else sees, match our profession of Christianity in public?
Jesus’ life on this earth was completely different from the religious people of His time. He sought solitude at night to pray to His Father, rather than the daylit street corners as the Pharisees did. His priceless gifts of healing and restored sight were often given along with the instruction to “tell no one” about Him. He taught repeatedly that the way to greatness in the Kingdom of Heaven was through humility and servitude; and from His birth in a stable, through His ministry as a homeless preacher, to His death on a criminal’s cross, He lived a life of humility that no man ever will fully match.
“Come learn of Me,” Jesus said. “I am meek and lowly of heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”