Proud Towards God 2 — Rejecting God’s Truth
Chan Gin Kai
The teachers of the law and the chief priests looked for a way to arrest him immediately, because they knew he had spoken this parable against them. But they were afraid of the people. (Luke 20:19)
In our last article, we examined how we may become proud towards God by elevating human authority above God’s words. In case we think this applies only to “main leaders", then we are certainly wrong. Whether we’re leading a church of thousands, giving advice to a friend, or simply instructing a child, we may be tempted to put our own authority above God’s words.
Today, we look at another temptation that may make us proud towards God — rejecting His truth.
They Hated The Truth
The religious leaders knew that Jesus “had spoken this parable against them”. It was not vague in anyway, nor hard for anyone to understand. Even the less educated masses understood what Jesus said. These leaders’ sins were exposed to the people.
So how did these leaders respond? Sadly, they didn’t repent in sackcloth and ashes. Instead, they got upset with Jesus and would have arrested him if they had not feared the crowd. The leaders hated the truth when their sins were exposed.
How do we respond when our sins are exposed?
The word of God can come to us, as clear as day, and we can still resist it. We may hear the truth from a friend or a sermon and still be blind to it. The Holy Spirit can stir our screaming conscience and we can still turn a deaf ear to it. Are there sins that we refuse to acknowledge or repent of? Do we hate the truth?
Admittedly, having our sins exposed is never a pleasant experience. And it is so much harder for leaders.
The temptation to be proud hits everyone, and even more so for leaders. We allow achievements and appreciations to get into our heads. We expect respect because of our position. We even look at the good we’ve done and try to nullify our bad.
Instead of thanking people who care enough to correct us, we take their inputs as criticisms. We pay more attention to the tone they use or the way they say it, instead of the content of their message. Instead of focusing on our sins, we spend more time thinking about how we’ve been disrespected. We fall right into Satan’s traps and turn away from God’s truth.
When we grow proud, we forget that we are all equals. Rank and file members can challenge the sins of leaders too. Do we create an environment where people feel confident to help and correct us?
Do we love the truth enough to accept it from anyone?
They Ignored The Truth
So the spies questioned him: “Teacher, we know that you speak and teach what is right, and that you do not show partiality but teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. Is it right for us to pay taxes to Caesar or not?” (Luke 20:21)
The religious leaders sent spies to question Jesus in the hope of trapping him. They acknowledged that Jesus taught what is right and “in accordance with the truth.” Was that a bit of flattery to try to catch Jesus off-guard? Perhaps it was. But the more important fact was that they could not find anything wrong with Jesus’ teachings; they admitted that he always taught the way of God. Despite that, they tried to trap him.
Some of the teachers of the law responded, “Well said, teacher!” (Luke 20:39)
Some of the leaders were even impressed with Jesus’ knowledge of Scriptures and the way he was able to answer every question and critic scripturally. However, they still regarded his as their enemy.
When they finally arrested Jesus a few days later, they had to plant false witnesses because they knew they couldn’t find anything wrong with him. The irony is, they knew he was good and right, but they still treated him wrong.
We know that Jesus is good and right too, but do we treat him wrong? Do we ignore the goodness of God and the truth of His words?
The religious leaders ignored the truth because they wanted to preserve what they had. They certainly enjoyed the privilege and prestige of their manmade authority. They even thought their system was good for their people.
Do we ignore God's truth because we want to preserve our humanistic structure? Are we afraid to “rock the boat” because we enjoy what we have now? Do we realise that God’s truth is better for our church than any system we can ever built? Our best laid plans are nothing compared to God’s wisdom.
It is admittedly much easier to implement human rules than to inculcate godly principles. It is more expedient to get people to obey our authority than to convince them with God's words. It takes less effort to share our own experience and human wisdom than to show the Bible. But this has to change. We cannot ignore God’s truth and install our own.
The religious leaders of Jesus’ time missed the chance to change their lives and help their people by rejecting God’s truth. Do we?
Read more about ‘Proud Towards God’:
Chan Gin Kai
Gin Kai is a film producer who believes in the power of media to inspire positive changes. He has spearheaded disaster relief and capacity building projects in impoverished communities across Asia. He serves actively in the Central Christian Church and describes himself as “just a sinner who wants to get right with God”.