Bruce Collins, Evangelist

The personal website of Bruce Collins

Religious Pride is a Real Deal Breaker


Matthew 23:1-12

(1) Then Jesus spoke to the multitudes and to His disciples,

(2) saying: "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat.

(3) Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.

(4) For they bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men’s shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers.

(5) But all their works they do to be seen by men. They make their phylacteries broad and enlarge the borders of their garments.

(6) They love the best places at feasts, the best seats in the synagogues,

(7) greetings in the marketplaces, and to be called by men, ‘Rabbi, Rabbi.’

(8) But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren.

(9) Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven.

(10) And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.

(11) But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant.

(12) And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.


Pride Hinders the Gospel

I wonder how many people have rejected the Lord because of the pride of those who claim to be His followers?  What is pride?  It seems to result from a preoccupation with self.  It is the worship of the trinity, ME, MYSELF, AND I.  It caused the downfall of Satan and through Satan it caused the downfall of Eve and then Adam.  Through Adam and Eve it caused the downfall of society.  It is why I personally am a sinner who needed a Savior.  The only person who was not filled with pride when He was born into this world is the Lord, but of course His Father was God and not Adam. 


You will notice in our passage for this week that the scribes (those who could write) and Pharisees (those who taught the law) were total hypocrites.  A hypocrite is someone who is an actor—he pretends to be something that he is not.  These hypocrites didn’t do what they were teaching.  They didn’t bear the burdens of others but they placed burdens upon them that God never intended for them to bear.  They did everything so that they could be seen since they wanted honor and the preferred places at their feasts.  They wanted titles.  They wanted to be great.



There was a man like that called Nebuchadnezzar.  You can read about him in Daniel chapters 2,3, and 4.  He was a man of great ability.  The Lord gave him a dream one night about a statue.  Daniel interpreted the dream and told him that the statue represented kingdoms.  The head of the statue was gold.  Daniel told Nebuchadnezzar that he was that head of gold.  Rather than being humbled by that dream, he exalted himself and made a statue like the one in his dream and then required people to bow down to it or worship it.  In essence they were worshiping him. You will remember that Daniel had three friends who wouldn’t bow and were thrown into a burning fiery furnace.  However, the Lord protected them in the midst of that fire.  But Nebuchadnezzar had another dream that Daniel interpreted.  This one had to do with being humbled because he had been lifted up in pride and was taking credit for all the things God had allowed him to do in Babylon.  Nebuchadnezzar ended up eating grass like a beast for seven years because of his pride.  At the end of seven years God restored him to his Kingdom.  He restored his mind.  And now he comes to understand that whoever exalts himself will be humbled.  In Daniel 4:37 we read, “Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and extol and honor the King of heaven, all of whose works are truth, and His ways justice. And those who walk in pride He is able to put down.”


It took seven years for Nebuchadnezzar to be humbled and to find out that he was subject to Daniel’s God, the only God.  I marvel that Nebuchadnezzar will likely be in heaven while many of our religious teachers today will likely miss out.  They say and do not.  They use religion for power and monetary gain.  They make being a Christian something you can sign up for at the local dime store without any conviction or conversion. 


Supposed Humility

Pride affects us all. We can be proud of our supposed humility.   Those of you who are reading this and who disagree with what I am saying are already asking the question, “Who does he think he is? What makes him think he is right and the rest of us who are so successful are wrong?  Are you sure that you aren’t the one who is lifted up in pride?”  I certainly ask myself the same questions. 


Lord, grant me the wisdom and humility to listen to other’s opinions, let me read the word of God with an open mind.  Help me to practice what I preach.  Let me be light in a dark world.


Bruce Collins


Meditation for the week of February 5, 2017

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