The Pharisees in Jesus' day were threatened by Jesus' God given authority. The Pharisees had some legitimate authority, but authority was postured, and they utilized traditions and manipulation of "the law" to get people to fall in line to achieve ends that would establish the Pharisee power base for the benefit of the Pharisee advantage, to the detriment of the Spirit of God and what God was trying to accomplish.
Along came Jesus, obedient to the Father unto death, and filled with the LOVE of God, and submitted to God. He was seen as a usurper, as an occultist, as a troublemaker and a division maker. Yet it was His obedience that was to make peace between God and man.
We need to be seeing dynamics of what we think of as modern "church." What spirit is operating in us? Are we trying to build kingdoms for ourselves? Are we inwardly ravening wolves, trying to establish the status quo for our own comfort? Are we men or women who are wanting groupies? Or do we want to get under our brothers and sisters and build them up in their godly calling?
There are people who excel at salesmanship, and can pull the wool over our eyes. The nature of this is while we are "sold" on the noble ideals, we only see the good fruit or the hopes we have, but not how things are functionally working and what the long term fruit of the behavior is. Many are building a following, and are marking a territory, and this is actually causing war and division among believers, which is not where the war is supposed to be. People are not your enemy, but pride is. People are not the problem, but fear and insecurity is. People are not the problem, but unloving is... not giving others a hearing is... not being as open to correction as you are to "being right" is.
Ultimately we all stand before God, so establishing our own righteousness by human commerce is not going to stand. But when the love of God and the Spirit of God moves us to right action, and we are continually teachable by Him, we will be growing in the right direction. That direction will include being as interested in building others up in their gifts and callings as we are in our own calling. What does it mean to prefer another before oneself? What does it mean when Jesus took on the nature of being a servant as showing the way to be a leader?
God is building the Church, and we can either get with His plan or go off and try to build our own thing (or put another's thing down in order to feel superior in our insecurity). In the end, the words we speak, and the salesmanship we do, and the false placebo fruit we manufacture - getting people to respond to us like the king in the "emporer's new clothes" - will not matter. We stand naked before God. He sees our heart.
Prayer for today:
Oh Father God, Help us to be builders of Your Kingdom, not our own
Help us to be aligned with your program of building up the body of Christ
As we all grow together in the knowledge of Jesus
Remove from us the Pharisee spirit, the fear of man, the desire to please man, the greed of gain,
pride and everything you hate.
Build in us the righteousness that comes by faith,
Only through the gift of Your Son Jesus
Help us to love you and love each other,
And to truly worship You, Father God, in spirit and in truth