Luke 20:45-47: “Then, in the hearing of all the people, He said to His disciples, 46 ‘Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, 47 who devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.’"
Those who were testing Jesus in order to trap Him in a false teaching were simply looking after their own self-righteousness. Their deceptiveness and manipulation was easily hidden from the crowds and in the end were in plain view of everyone. After being questioned a few times, Jesus came out and warned His followers to be careful of the scribes. These were men who had an agenda and it was not a God-honoring one. They were all about self-honoring. Jesus said they “go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts”. These people were all about show. Their lives were consumed with posing before people. They made their grand, late entrances in order to be seen by all, they wore their finest clothes and probably told people, “they should wear their best for God”, they didn’t mind telling others how to live they just didn’t want others critiquing their life. They did not realize that the best for God is not outward, but rather inward.
The problem rests in that these scribes wanted to be seen by men, but were not too concerned with being seen by God. The scribes that Jesus was warning the people to watch out for were more concerned with the outward then rather the inward work of God. Jesus described them as devouring widows, instead of helping them; He also made mentioned that these scribes think of themselves as religious. He tells His followers that they make long prayers for show; however, their prayers will not be answered because prayer to God should never be for show.
We as Christ followers are also called to watch out for scribes in this world. The scribes are alive and well. The problem is that many of us can very easily slip in to the role of the scribe using our faith as some sort of status symbol. Using our faith for anything other then Glorifying God is idolatry. It is putting ourselves before God, and that will not be tolerated by Him. We must resist the urge to use our faith for worldly gain. Jesus died on a cross not for us to use that for self-glorification, but rather for His glorification!
Old Testament: 11 Sam 15-16 New Testament Luke 20:27-47