Pride (Written by David Peterson)
In the last week of His worldly life, Jesus has entered Jerusalem and goes into the temple to talk to people and address the Pharisees. Jesus characterizes and condemns the Pharisees for their own self-righteous indulgences and their pride. Matthew records the hypocrisy and corruption in Matthew 23:1-12. Take two minutes to read that account. (It is also found in Mark 12:38-40 and Luke 20:45-47.)
Jesus is telling us that we should not be impressed with those who exalt themselves, or strive to have others look at them for the things they wear, or project themselves as more worthy of spiritual gifts than others. Jesus condemns their pride and pretense and worldly acclaim to greatness at the expense of others. The correct way, according to Jesus, it to fully recognize Him as our Lord and Savior and the one whom we should emulate.
Pride is a common affliction in today’s society and one to constantly monitor. John Boys, the Dean of Canterbury in the 1600’s, once wrote; “As death is the last enemy; so pride the last sin that shall be destroyed in us.”
Boys’ recognizes the power of pride as sin, along with its prevalence in the human condition, and we all should realize this truth. Our response and application is to turn away from being prideful and haughty and turn toward exalting our great God. A memorable hymn that comes to mind is “How Great Thou Art” by Stuart K. Hine. The second stanza says; “That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing, He bled and died to take away my sin”. The hymn writer was a British Methodist Minister and Missionary who addressed God’s love and mercy in that verse. At the same time, it should make us humble in that Christ Jesus died to save us from sin.
Let us pray: Savior Jesus, teach us to day by day “love you more dearly and follow you more clearly”.