Then the followers came to Jesus and asked, "Do you know that the Pharisees are angry because of what you said?" Jesus answered, "Every plant that my Father in heaven has not planted himself will be pulled up by the roots. Stay away from the Pharisees. They lead the people, but they are like blind men leading other blind men. And if a blind man leads another blind man, then both men will fall into a hole."
— Matthew 15:12-14 NLT
The powerful implication of Jesus' words for his followers in today's passage is immense. The Pharisees were regarded as the most righteous of all people in Jesus' day. They believed in resurrection and reward from God for those who adopted their form of righteousness. Because of their reputation and power, the disciples were worried that Jesus would alienate them—and he not only alienated them, many of them actually hated Jesus and regarded him as their enemy. But Jesus' words remind us of one essential truth: If it is not from God, it won't last! In fact, if something pretends to be from God, but isn't, it will lead to disaster.
In a world of political correctness, multi-culturalism, and pluralism, it is easy to confuse respect for the people of a culture with an acceptance of that culture's religious truth. In Matthew, Jesus demands that we come to him for truth and reject ANY religion that promotes formalism, ritualism, or externalism at the expense of inner purity and true transformation from God.
Righteous and holy Father, please help me discern false religions and false teachers, no matter how popular or powerful. I want to have a pure heart, transformed by your grace and obedient to your will. Forgive me of my sin and create in me a pure heart, humble and obedient to your will. Please help me exhibit this purity in my speech, my attitude, my thoughts, my motives, and my actions. In the precious name of Jesus I pray. Amen.
Related Scripture Readings
- Col. 2:6-10
- Matt. 5:21-22, 27-28, 31-32, 33-34, 38-39, 43-44
- Matt. 7:24-28
About This Devotional
What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.
What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.