Luke 11:44 Woe to you! For you are like unmarked graves, and people walk over them without realizing it.”
Jesus is rebuking the Pharisees -- those who believed they were extremely spiritual. They must have winced as they heard these words from Jesus, for to walk over and touch, even an unmarked grave, was to make one unclean. Jesus is saying that the Pharisees are living such hypocritical lives that they are dragging others down spiritually -- making them unclean when they are unsuspecting.
I think the indictment here is pretty strong. There are those who are falling away, or being hurt in their faith because of the "faith" of those who see themselves as being spiritual. It should stop and give all of us pause. What is it about our lives that could be a detriment to the faith of others? Would there be anything that someone would see in my life that might drive them away from Jesus Christ?
I have to confess that there are times when I have a bad day! I get cranky when I'm overly tired and without noticing, I can be a bit of a grump. The other night I arrived in a city at 10:30pm and had been told I could call the hotel where I was staying for a shuttle and it would be just 15 minutes when they would arrive. I stood outside in the cold until 11pm and called the hotel back. I was told they had misspoken and the shuttle had just left the airport when I called -- not the hotel -- and was now running a number of errands and would be there in a while. Finally, about 11:15pm the driver showed up. For me, it was 12:15am because I had changed a time zone in my travels. I was exhausted and had to be up and ready to leave at 7:30 in the morning. I have to confess I wasn't overly pleased that the shuttle had taken so long to arrive. I was worn out and wasn't too excited to have much friendly conversation with the driver. But then -- I was asked what I do for a living? Oh my -- I'm a minister -- how do I tell him that? In that very moment I asked the Lord to help me to have a better attitude -- so that I could be a good representative of him. The Lord did answer my prayer before I embarrassed myself by being a grump with this guy. It wasn't his fault -- he was just doing his job and I just needed to be patient and wait! In that moment I realized that whatever I say or do, with anyone and anywhere will a reflection of Jesus in the world. My prayer is that I would not be an unmarked grave -- that my life would not drag others down and defile them without them even knowing it. Instead, may we, as followers of Jesus Christ so love the Lord and others that our world might be drawn toward Him and experience His transforming power and grace. May we not be an unmarked grave, but a source of new life.
Lord, please help me to be your faithful servant today with everyone I meet. Amen.