Monday, October 26, 2015

Jesus warns Us Not to Follow Blind Leaders

Then the disciples came to him and asked, ‘Do you realize you offended the Pharisees by what you just said?’ Jesus replied, ‘Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind, and if one blind person guides another, they will both fall into a ditch’” (Matthew 15:12-14, NLT).

By confronting the Pharisees regarding their teaching of traditions above or same level with the Scripture (read Matthew 15:1-11), Jesus was establishing himself as the right interpreter of the Scripture. God had given Israel numerous dietary laws, but these laws and the religious leaders’ interpretations of them had become more important than the meaning behind them, leading to the idea that people could be clean before God because of what they refused to eat, for example. And because the Pharisees had become the religious authorities of the day, they naturally become offended by what Jesus said. The disciples pointed out this offense, implying that Jesus had made a great risk against religious establishment (“Jesus the controversial,” said John W. Stott).

Because of their hard-heartedness, Jesus explained that they were being rejected as leaders of God’s people and like weeds in the garden (symbol of evil influences), they would be “uprooted.” Then Jesus told the disciples to “ignore them.” The disciples shouldn’t follow, listen to, or regard the hypocritical Pharisees. The issue is this – the Pharisees claimed to be leaders of the people, but Jesus turned this around to show that, in reality, they were “blind guides” who would lead people the wrong way and thus resulted them to “fall into a ditch.” That’s hurt!

Think about this: Today many claim to be religious authorities. Some teachers, preachers, pastors, para-church workers, and others draw large crowds and have huge followings in churches, special events, concerts, seminars, online, and in publishing. Although they (us, including me!) may sound and look good, we must be careful whom we follow. Our earthly spiritual leaders should affirm basically; 1) Jesus as fully God and fully human; 2) Jesus as the only way to salvation; and 3) the Bible as God’s written and inspired Word, our only rule for faith and practise. Any leader who is offended by those beliefs and values should be left behind. Don’t follow them. If their living doesn’t match with their teachings, don’t follow them. As soon as we know the true motive of a teacher or preacher is not God’s glory, we should stop listening to him or her.

On the positive note, by all means follow the right and godly leaders.
By the way, Who are your spiritual leaders?

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