“Showing Off” Spiritually Is Stupid! – Luke 20:27-47

From my reading in Luke 20:27-47 in the One Year New Testament.

“Showing off” is a big part of our culture and has trickled in to our churches and ministries.

If we are not careful, pastors can become more worried about their Instagram and Twitter followers then their church members.

I have been tempted to to show off how my ministry “blowing up” at certain times and have also been tempted to be quiet sometimes when it was not going well. I think this is an issue that all ministry leaders are tempted with.

Spiritual showoffs were around even in Jesus’ time. Here’s what he said about them.

“Beware of these teachers of religious law! For they like to parade around in flowing robes and love to receive respectful greetings as they walk in the marketplaces. And how they love the seats of honor in the synagogues and the head table at banquets. Yet they shamelessly cheat widows out of their property and then pretend to be pious by making long prayers in public. Because of this, they will be severely punished.” Luke 20:45–47

The religious leaders were taking the glory only God deserves and trying to steal it for themselves.

They didn’t desire personal holiness, instead they sought public recognition in the following ways.

1. Paraded around in flowing robes – These were extra-long fancy white linen garments worn by religious leaders that set them apart from others.

Do you wear things to get attention from others?

2. Love Respectful Greetings – They love being greeted as they walked through the town.

Do you enjoy being called pastor or reverend or even the recognition of being a good servant?

3. Seats of Honor In The Synagogue and Banquets – They got the best seats in the house because of their position.

Do you love being treated special at Church or events?

4. Pray Long Pious Sounding Prayers – They make their prayers extra long in order to show off how spiritual they are!

When you pray are you really talking to God or are you trying to impress people?

All the while these men were cheating widows out of what little property they have! These men looked good on the outside, but were rotten to the core.

Attempting to steal God’s glory is one of the things God takes most seriously!

Jesus warns that these men will receive greater punishment because of their greater responsibility. Jesus’ brother James gives a warning to those of us in spiritual leadership…

“Not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.” James 3:1

The role of spiritual leadership is not something to be taken lightly and is certainly not to make us look good. It is to make Jesus look good!

As spiderman would tell you, with great power comes great responsibility. 

We should do what ever we can to keep from causing others to stumble, people’s eternity are hanging in the balance.

Are you ministering to make much of yourself or to make much of Jesus?

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About David Worcester

I am the founder and director of a campus ministry at San Diego State called Challenge. I am also serving as an ordained elder at Mission Trails Church. I love speaking and writing about college ministry, gospel appointments, and practical ways to live out God’s Word! I am also passionate about: leadership training, learning, missions, church planting, surfing, hiking, sports, photography and traveling (So far I’ve visited 23 countries & all 50 states). I’m married to Jessica Worcester who I fell in love with while doing college ministry together and we have a two year old son named Samuel. I graduated from from the University of Oklahoma (OU) with a degree in Film & Video Studies. And I received my Masters in Theological Studies from Gateway Seminary. I am an ordained minister who loves speaking and writing about practical ways to live out God’s Word in life and ministry.

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