“Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.” - Matthew 23:15
Today it seems difficult when hearing these words from the Lord Jesus that He would be so scathing and condemning towards religious leaders. But it is obvious that Jesus was very opposed towards hypocrisy and continually speaks out against it. These religious leaders were judgemental, legalistic and condemnatory. In contrast Jesus was always, and will be, an expression of God’s love.
The scribes and Pharisees travelled many miles to win one convert to themselves and indoctrinate and teach him their ways. This, Jesus says, results in them being twice as much a person destined for hell than themselves.
Why spend all that effort and time travelling to merely make a religious convert whose life is not changed for the better, but actually for the worse. Jesus walked long distances to reach people and when He contacted them He lifted burdens, healed desperately sick individuals and performed amazing miracles. He travelled extensively teaching and preaching the kingdom of God, casting out devils and making people well. He went about proclaiming the good news of the gospel to all who would hear and respond to it.
Follow His example to go, regardless of the distance, to do good, not to proselytise someone to become religious, but to bring them into the experience of the new birth and to be true followers of the Lord Jesus. We are not to make hypocrites but disciples who will never ever see the dark portals and torments of hell.
Dear heavenly Father I lift my voice to You today in grateful thanks for all Your goodness, mercy and faithfulness. Without You I am lost and I utterly and totally depend on You. Lead me to someone today who is in need and help me to point them to Jesus so that they may experience the wonder of the new birth.