Gleanings – Jesus Heaps Judgment Upon Religious Leaders

Advent 3, December 21, 2012

Matthew 11:2-15

“From the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of heaven has suffered violence, and men of violence take it by force. “

If you are a pastor you hate to hear these words. John the Baptist is on the outside looking in. He doesn’t have an office. He has a river bank. He doesn’t have fine clothes. He has camel hair. The religious leaders of his day held office and enjoyed fine apparel. And they were violent men in that they controlled their people. They locked out people like John the Baptist not wanting people beneath them to hear his revolutionary word.  And yet Jesus said John was greater than all of them.

Leaders today are often the violent men, finely dressed controlling religious leaders as opposed to prophets who rock the human worldview. Too often we tickle ears and preach sugar. We want to know what sells. We are more interested in butts in the pew and dollars in the plate than lives won for the Kingdom. We prefer the orderly and pristine as opposed to the chaotic and messy. And Jesus says to us the Baptist is better than us as are the least and lowliest in the kingdom.

Better to be a scorned and rejected prophet than a beloved pastor. Hate when that happens.

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