Every group will naturally have leaders, but those under Jesus’ lordship will supernaturally have leaders.


 

“Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, you frauds! You shut the doors of the kingdom of God in men’s faces, neither entering yourselves nor admitting those who are trying to enter.” –Matthew 23:13

While harsh in nature, I feel as if today’s Gospel reading is one of the greater instances in which God reveals His overflowing love for us. Jesus sharply criticized the religious leadership of His time. He called many of the leaders hypocrites, who were foolish and blind. He accused some of them of making their followers into devils twice as wicked as themselves. Jesus is so strict and harsh with leaders because their bad leadership is so destructive. Jesus loves us so much that He doesn’t want us misled. Jesus protects His people by calling leaders to give an account of their leadership – a stricter account. Jesus protects and nourishes His people by rising up leaders after His own heart.

Every group will naturally have leaders, but those under Jesus’ lordship will supernaturally have leaders. Those who follow Jesus as Leader will be and have good leaders. We mess up Jesus’ loving protection and His attempts to nurture us by:

  1. not obeying or loving the leaders He has given us,
  2. choosing leaders different than those chosen by God,
  3. not forgiving bad leaders,
  4. not accepting God’s call to leadership, and
  5. not praying for leaders (see 1 Tm 2:1-2).

Today God is reminding us to seek Him and to live Him.  He is kindly, but bluntly, reminding us that we are prone to mishap and that we must be cognizant of what we say, do, or think, and more importantly, why it is that we do such.  Today God is inviting us to remain close friends (more than that, actually) with Him and to continue onward with the progress we have made so far.  These reality checks are vital to our spirituality and they are crucial to helping us become aware of where we slip up.

Being human is both amazing and fascinating: we are able to focus ourselves on items and realms that highlight the best of our emotions, we are given a willingness to learn that makes us inquisitive of the world around us, we are blessed with the freedom to act as we wish.  And in living these actions we become nothing more than mere human.  But it is these very aspects that root our superiority that can also lead us astray and down a path of sin and hatred.

Part of being human means making mistakes and experiencing errors.  Such is fine.  But it no longer remains fine when we become wrapped up in the mindset that life is nothing but a do-over and that we can make as many mistakes as we knowingly desire to make just because we can and still get away with it.

May we take some time today to reflect over where we have fallen short, where we have actively separated ourselves from God, and by what means we are doing that.  May we ask for true forgiveness and may we actively try to mean the words we so simply say, “I’m sorry.”  God loves us and he wants us to experience such.  “God is love and all who live in love, abide in God, and God abides in them.”  May we today work towards the personal journey to abiding in God; may our reward be God himself continuing to abide in us.

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