Apologies up front to any honest televangelists, lawyers, used car salesmen, or politicians who are reading this and protest that they are not at all like these Pharisees! My experiences with the above have convinced me that many, if not most, are exactly as the Pharisees that JESUS calls out here.
“But woe to you Pharisees! For you tithe mint and rue and herbs of all kinds, and neglect justice and the love of GOD; it is these you ought to have practiced, without neglecting the others. Woe to you Pharisees! For you love to have the seat of honor in the synagogues and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces. Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without realizing it.” One of the lawyers answered Him, “Teacher, when you say these things, you insult us too.” And He said, “Woe also to you lawyers! For you load people with burdens hard to bear, and you yourselves do not lift a finger to ease them.” – Luke 11:42-46 NRSV
There is some debate among Bible scholars about the epistle (letter) written to the Hebrews. Some say Paul wrote it, and others say it was written by a group of early Christians. There is also disagreement as to who, exactly, are the Hebrews it is addressed, but those are discussions to be taken up by others …. Whoever wrote this, to whomever it was originally written, it is also written for us – Christians, CHRIST-Followers – today. I firmly believe that a true Christian will be honest and above board, in business and their personal lives, holding their convictions over what “everybody else is doing.” None of us are perfect, no matter what field we are in: stay-at-home mom/dad, student, retiree, businessperson, politician, preacher, salesman, or attorney. Not one, because we are human, and humans are grossly imperfect, unfair, unfaithful, and vindictive. JESUS CHRIST is the ONLY Man who was or ever will be perfect.
“Dear friends, even though we are talking this way, we really don’t believe it applies to you. We are confident that you are meant for better things, things that come with salvation. For GOD is not unjust. He will not forget how hard you have worked for Him and how you have shown your love to Him by caring for other believers* [*Greek, for GOD’s Holy People], as you still do.” – Hebrews 6:9-10 NLT
We know that Salvation doesn’t come from good works, but that real good works, real love, and real caring behaviour, come only from our Salvation through JESUS CHRIST. Are you with me? More importantly, most importantly, are you with JESUS today, and FOREVER-more? Hallelujah if you are! But if you have to answer no, then I urge you to reconsider where you stand. Once you accept His Salvation, you have this promise to hold on to:
“And I am convinced that NOTHING can ever separate us from GOD’s Love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from GOD’s LOVE.” – Romans 8:38 NLT