The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Matthew 23:11-12)
There are a lot of tough questions that people have today about Christianity. It has been pointed out that tough questions are often trust questions. Sometimes the question we hear can hide a heart that is hurting. This is why our conversations matter so much.
Jesus knew that the practices of the religious leadership in his day were obscuring the way to God. They were probably sincere but over time they added so much tradition to the law of God that it had become a burden. It was distorting the truth as to how one could be right with God.
Jesus wanted them to examine their lives to see how they lacked mercy. They did not help people with the standards they taught. They expected more from others than they did of themselves.
They measured their life in superficial ways that were really not that important, such as how long the tassel was on their outer coat. They were judgmental and exclusive. Their rules defined who was in and who was out but did not offer any hope.
They were informed but not transformed. Jesus pronounces judgment upon them. They had the awesome privilege of showing the grace and wonder and beauty of God who reigns, but failed at doing so.
Our conversations do matter. God seeks to transform us so that we will join with him in changing our neighbourhood one conversation at a time.