The religious leaders of Israel were the VIP’s of the day. Although they had reached the top of the quote “pecking order,” they often found themselves scorched by Jesus’ words. Jesus called many of them white-washed tombs. He accused them of robbing widows and being filled with dead men’s bones. Their problem was one of focus. Many of the religious leaders focused on externals like how they appeared to others on the outside. That’s why they loved their impressive rituals of prayer. They had season tickets to the best seats in the synagogue. They loved their Neiman Marcus robes and the way the common people looked at them.
Therefore, it is no surprise that when Jesus and the religious leaders met, the sparks flew. While the religious leaders of His day relished the separation between themselves and the “common people,” Jesus sought to break down the barriers. Jesus, as God’s only Begotten Son, deserved his title, position, and praise, but His humility in heart was at the core of His teaching. He humbled Himself and became obedient to death even death on a cross. Jesus wants us to demonstrate servant hood and humility. Jesus “humbled Himself” and it was His undergirding philosophy. He chose the path of humility. We too must choose the path of greatness.