Day 187: Greater Condemnation

Luke 20:45-47

In the hearing of all the people, he said to his disciples, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk in long robes, and love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts; who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers: these will receive greater condemnation.”

This is an interesting exchange because Luke tells us that Jesus is talking in a place in which He can be heard by everyone but is clearly speaking to His disciples. I am envisioning a place where there were probably some scribes within hearing range. Not only does Jesus not try to hide, He speaks in front of everyone about how the scribes will get a more severe judgment than others. Jesus isn’t afraid of what will happen to Him when He speaks the truth boldly but just broadcasts it in public much like we hear radio talk show hosts do today.

Notice that the evil that Jesus hated was the kind that deceived the people with outward appearance. Jesus knew that they were literally destroying the poor while claiming to be religious. This is definitely very real today and we should be very careful to look critically at “religious” people, even if they are on the radio, on a blog, on TV or in government.

It is also good for us to remember that prayers are not for the sake of the people listening. Prayer is a communication with God and since it is, it would be very disrespectful to use it as a “show” for people. Jesus tells us this is something that God doesn’t like.