Luke 7:29-30—(And when all the people, including the tax collectors, heard this, they acknowledged God’s way of righteousness, because they had been baptized with John’s baptism. But since the Pharisees and experts in the law had not been baptized by him, they rejected the plan of God for themselves.)
You have heard of the Perushim—they are called Pharisees in the New Testament and they were the instigators in crucifying Jesus. They were too good to be baptized by John and too religious to put their trust in Christ. They were so full of themselves and their law-abiding ways that they could not see their “lostness” and the promised Messiah God sent to save them. If we are humble we can learn a great lesson from them of what not to do.
Separated ones start off with good intentions. But when living holy is the defining objective, the right goal is missed. No one can be holy by self-effort. If our hearts are to worship God and to obey Him righteousness is the fruit. The Perushim deviated just slightly—they shifted their focus from worship to separating from sin and worldly compromise. That minor deviation resulted in their becoming enemies of the very Lord they should have served.
Beware of exalting separation. One can disconnect from the world in order to gain some noble aim and in the process the aim is worshiped more than the Father. The Pharisees exalted the law and so prided themselves in keeping it that that they lost perspective to what really mattered. Jesus called them whitewashed tombs that looked good on the outside but inside were full of dead bones and “every impurity” (Matthew 23:27).
We best not bash the Pharisees for we tend to do the same thing. We worship doctrine and become so rigid in our thinking that we lose empathy. We esteem service and become like “Martha.” We value most what the world thinks of us and end up compromising God’s truth so as not to be labeled. We align with political parties to gain the wrong salvation. We take up crosses—but choose the wrong wood. It’s not hard to do and it almost always begins with good intentions.
Jesus said to the rich young ruler, “If you want to be perfect go, sell your belongings and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow Me” (Mat. 19:21). Therein lies the key—gain what we misplaced with the wrong aim by following Jesus—forever. Something to think about . . . in reveration!
Beware of making a fetish of consistency to your convictions instead of being devoted to God.—Oswald Chambers in My Utmost For His Highest
©2021 Daniel York ARR. Reveration is the weekly devotional ministry of First Cause. If you would like to receive these devotionals go to www.firstcause.org and click on the "Click here to receive weekly devotionals" box. Unlimited permission to copy this devotional without altering text or profiteering is allowed subject to inclusion of this copyright notice.
Ecclesiastes 12:10-The Teacher sought to find delightful sayings and to accurately write words of truth. (Holman CSB)
 Cahn, Jonathan. (2016). The Book of Mysteries. Frontline