While all the people were listening, Jesus said to his disciples, “Beware of the teachers of the law. They like to walk around in flowing robes and love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and have the most important seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at banquets. They devour widows’ houses and for a show make lengthy prayers. These men will be punished most severely.” (Luke 20:45-47)
Jesus warns us in our journey to the cross to stay away from those who tell us what to do and befriend those who love us. He also warns us to see through those with a perfect appearance with friends in high places who speak and schmooze well. They might have an agenda other than love. Look at their hearts.
Religious leaders and priests in Jesus’ time weren’t paid well. Apostle Paul accepted hospitality but usually not money as he worked to support himself. Teachers of the law wore beautiful robes with long tassels to remind them to pray. They also had boxes of Scripture (phylacteries) attached to their foreheads and wrists (See Matthew 23:5). Even though they were expected to earn a living, they didn’t dress to labor. Therefore, they visited wealthy widows and prayed extensively for them. If the widows paid them, they returned. As we’ve read Pharisees, Sadducees, elders, and teachers of the law killed prophets and kept people from Jesus when He commanded us to “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Those who keep people from Jesus will be punished most severely.
Our ability to leave a bad habit or trait at the cross depends on relationships. Our relationship with God must be strong through prayer and Bible study. We need to have friends and family support us to make us accountable. The tenth step to leaving a bad habit or trait at the cross is to surround yourself with people who love you. It’s good to have a prayer partner. I am available for any of my readers who needs one. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. My Facebook was hacked, so I can’t be reached through social media.
Dearest Heavenly Father, I praise you because You are love. Whoever lives in love lives in You, and You in them. Give me friends who love You and will support me in my efforts to become more like Jesus as I prepare to leave _____________ at the cross. In Jesus’ precious and holy name I pray. Amen.