Greed and Self-Indulgence

(Begin with 1-2 minutes of silence)

Matthew 23:25-26 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence. Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.”

Our culture often emphasizes lawbreaking based on the severity of the offense. As such, somebody who steals a small sum of money will be punished less severely than somebody who murders. For a group of people trying to build a society with one another, this makes complete sense. 

But one of the unfortunate consequences of this same mindset is that followers of Jesus can be tempted to put sins in a level of different tiers. There are the “small” sins that aren’t such a big deal, and then there are the “big” sins which are much more severe. 

This is where the Gospel differs from our society. In the new family of Jesus, everybody is on the same playing field. Everybody has sinned and will sin again. So instead of pointing fingers at others, we recognize our own fallenness first. 


     MATTHEW 23:13-39, LUKE 18:9-14 (also read the commentary notes in your Study Bible of choice.)

QUESTION: Be honest: How regularly do you find yourself ranking “little” sins vs. “big” ones? In what ways may this lead you to seeing yourself as better than others? 

REAL LIFE PRACTICE: Are you doing too much?Practice slowing down and living life at the pace of your soul by utilizing the One Minute Pause app at least twice daily. The app is free, and is available on iPhone and Android devices.

PRAYER: Heavenly Father, today’s reading has served as a reminder that there are times I could have been in the same position as the Pharisees in Jesus’ day. There are times when I see myself as better or morally superior to others because I think I would never do what that person did. Continue to help me be more like the tax collector in Luke 18, who easily acknowledged, “Lord, have mercy on me, a sinner.” In Jesus’ name. Amen. 

(End with 1-2 minutes of silence)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: