We are often so consumed by what other people think of us that we forget to focus on how God sees us.
Reference: v.20 For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven. (NIV Bible)
Explore: Lawyers get a bad wrap. I’m not sure whether it’s just in Australia but there are a lot of jokes and scathing comments made about lawyers. And yet only the smartest people can get in to study law. Is it our ‘tall poppy syndrome’- where we feel the need to pull down anyone who is succeeding- that brings out the desire in us to criticise lawyers? Now, don’t get me wrong, lawyers are by no means perfect, but they certainly cop a lot of flack for their career choice.
It’s almost like our perception on Pharisees today. Jesus certainly called them to task many times and we shake our heads at how oblivious they were to the Messiah standing right in front of them. However these men were some of the most learned people in society. The synagogue held a great deal of power in those days and so the Pharisees and teachers of the law would have been revered in society. I wonder whether they copped as much flack as lawyers today. They were certainly at the pointy end of some of Jesus’ attacks and yet here in Matthew he highlights their positive side. No matter what we may think of them or how we might dispise them for their actions towards Jesus, they were truly dedicated to God and desired to be right before Him.
Application: We are often so consumed by what other people think of us that we forget to focus on how God sees us. The Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5 certainly highlights some Godly perspectives that don’t often come out in our culture today. May we always turn to God when we are looking for approval and acceptance.
Prayer: Lord, it is so easy to focus on the acceptance of the people around us. And yet it is only your approval we should seek. Amen.
This article was written by Linda Bailey
Linda started theological studies in 1999 in Australia. After working for ten years in various church ministries, she now works as the breakfast producer at 89.9 LightFM - the Christian radio station in Melbourne, Australia. She writes blogs every day about passages she is currently reading in the Bible. Follow her on Google Plus +Linda Bailey or Facebook by clicking the like button on the right of this page.