“The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus” Luke 16:14)
It’s no secret. The Pharisees don’t have the best reputation. Jesus gave them a fairly substantial black eye. Actually, to be more accurate, Jesus exposed their dirty laundry.
Nobody in the Christian world aspires to be a Pharisee. In an “us vs. them” world, the Pharisees are “them.”
But as much as we speak against the Pharisees and their legalistic tendencies, we have a problem. Some passages of Scripture indicate that we are closely related to them. Sometimes we identify with them even more than we identify with Jesus.
Luke 16 is a case in point. Jesus has just finished telling a parable about the dangers of money. Then, in verse 13, He says, “No servant can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.” In other words, He tells everyone listening that Money is an idol. It is a god.
Verse 14 says that the Pharisees loved money. In fact, that verse says that they thought Jesus was out of His mind for refusing to join their money-loving-group. They sneered at Him for these remarks…isn’t that a telling statement?
How to be a Pharisee
When Luke says that the Pharisees loved money, he moves me dangerously close to the Pharisee camp. This issue is a little too close to home for my comfort! I tend to say things like “I appreciate money” or “it must be nice to have money (relatively speaking).” But, in truth, every one of us who is pursuing the American Dream feels a pull toward Money. We “need” money to accommodate our lifestyles. We desire money to fulfill our dreams.
Let’s be honest. When we stop dancing around this issue…the truth is that most of us love money.
We are the Pharisees. We love the benefits of wealth. So, if we want to be like the Pharisees, we simply need to sit back and enjoy the comforts of our Money. But, if we want to be like Jesus, maybe we should rethink our money strategy.
Source: Crosswalk.com | Patrick Johnson, GenerousChurch.com Contributing Writer