Today’s Scripture: Matthew 23:1-33; John 8:9; John 3:18; Hebrews 11:6
Some people like to categorize sins, putting murder or gross immorality at the top of the list. Which is worse—committing adultery or living with pride? Murdering a person or unfairly judging someone else’s sins?
Internal sins like arrogance or judgmentalism are often ignored or go unnoticed, since those sins don’t cause death or injury—or do they? The reality is that a prideful or judgmental spirit can prove deadly to a person’s spirit.
The worse sin a person can commit is to harbor pride in the heart, causing him to feel self-sufficient with no need for God. Pride leads to unbelief which ultimately culminates in a rejection of the Son of God. Jesus said, “Whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.”
Most of the Pharisees were filled with self-reliant pride. Their comfortable lifestyles and popularity with the people were being threatened when Jesus came on the scene. Christ had no problem pointing out the hypocrisy of the teachers of the law and the Pharisees. He cautioned the crowds and the disciples that, because these men of importance sat in Moses’ seat, they were to be obeyed. But, the people were not to do what they did, because they didn’t practice what they preached. Jesus publicly called them “blind guides,” “hypocrites,” “snakes,” and a “brood of vipers.”
When these leaders condemned the adulterous woman, Jesus drew a glaring contrast between them and her. Maybe the Pharisees were faithful to their wives, but they certainly were not faithful to God. “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her,” Jesus challenged. Now it was their turn to feel the emotions of guilt and shame. One by one they left, with the elders leading the way. The fact that they left first indicates they knew what they had done was wrong. The fact that they didn’t/wouldn’t apologize confirms their hearts were filled with pride.
Someone said, “Pride makes us artificial and humility make us real.” Let’s purpose to be “real” and allow God to remove every bit of pride hidden in our hearts.
- When someone asks you what the worse sin is that a person could commit, how do you respond?
- What would it take for you to become “real?”