The Charade of Caring
Luke 13:31 At that very hour some Pharisees came and said to him, “Get away from here, for Herod wants to kill you.”
At first glance it would appear that there were Pharisees who had a genuine concern for the well-being of Jesus. This would seem rather unusual for most of the time we read about their contempt for Jesus and his ministry. Why this sudden show of concern and what was their motivation?
Things are not always what they appear to be on the surface. Most commentaries suggest that these Pharisees were not genuinely concerned about Jesus’ safety, but instead were motivated by their own sense of greed or jealousy. On the pretense of concern for Jesus, they were actually looking for a way to get rid of him. Some suggest they may actually have been working with Herod to set a trap for Jesus. Others write that they were simply using the fear of Herod to keep Jesus from ministering in Jerusalem.
More than likely the warning to Jesus came from the hearts of those leaders who were self-centered. Their motivation was not for the sake of Jesus or others, but for their own personal preservation and with this driving force they were willing to carry on a charade of caring for the son of God.
The Pharisees had become skilled at looking spiritual. They knew when to go to the synagogue, what they ought to be reading and how to practice all the rituals in their personal lives on a daily basis. All of this was being done in such a way that these practices had become of absolute importance in their lives. They were professionals at keeping the charade going so when it came to sounding spiritual about caring for Jesus, they knew just how to do it!
But Jesus could see right through them. He wasn’t impressed with their practices of piety, nor their attitudes of spiritual superiority. Their charade of caring was simply that — a charade. They knew how to make themselves sound good but their lives were hollow and empty. There was no real truth lived out in the way they responded to others.
Jesus was looking for authentic followers then — and also today. There can be no charade. There can be no pretending to be spiritual for Jesus sees through it all. Sounding like we care about Jesus but actually trying to protect our own little religious life is a problem.
The Church is in danger of becoming irrelevant if she sounds spiritual but is really only concerned with her own self-preservation. Jesus was looking for followers who were willing to take up their cross and follow him -- for those who were willing to lose their lives in service to others. Jesus saw past the charade and the world does too.
Lord, please help me to walk with and follow you in genuine and authentic service and ministry. Amen.
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