This is the third in a series of posts on Jesus vs the Pharisees from Luke11:37-54 (read part 1, part 2)
In verse 43, Jesus draws attention to the Pharisees love for sitting in the best seats in the synagogues and being greeted with respect in the marketplace. They had pride in their external reputation, they enjoyed the fact that people looked up to them.
In the same way, we tend to be obsessed with our reputation. The problem is it's often the wrong people's opinions that we are concerned about. For example, it doesn't matter if everyone thinks I’m a great husband if my wife doesn’t agree! That is the mistake that the Pharisees are making. The people think that they are very godly but God Himself is sitting across the table from them calling them fools!
Having a good reputation isn't a bad thing. But what use is having a good reputation with people if Jesus is calling you a fool?! What use is people looking up to us as good examples of Christians if Jesus is saying “I don’t know you” (Matt 7:21-23). What good is it if people think our church is great but God is saying “I hate your feasts” (Is 1:13-14)
We also need to watch out for “reverse” pride – refusing to admit failure, talk about your struggles or ask for help, is showing just as much concern about your reputation as the “puffed up” Pharisee is. Religion is concerned about what other people think, Christianity is concerned about what God thinks.