And He said to them, “How can they say that the Christ is the Son of David? Now David himself said in the Book of Psalms:
‘The LORD said to my Lord,
“Sit at My right hand,
Till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” ’
Therefore David calls Him ‘Lord’; how is He then his Son?”
Then, in the hearing of all the people, He said to His disciples, “Beware of the scribes, who desire to go around in long robes, love greetings in the marketplaces, the best seats in the synagogues, and the best places at feasts, who devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. These will receive greater condemnation.”
Prodding the people to think and draw conclusions. Teaching those closest to him to be wary of the ‘show’ of the teachers of the law, those placed in positions of authority and knowledge. Those who knew the letter of the law but did not possess the spirit of the law, rather were full of themselves and in that place incapable of serving the people whose favor they sought. Beware, be alert, don’t fall into the same trap.
Paul said later, I die daily…because it is so easy to allow that sense of self to become the central focus. Placed in positions of power, meant to serve others, and the awareness of self-importance grows. Be wary of these, Jesus said and gave signs to watch for, the flowing robes – or emphasis on outward appearances, the lengthy prayers – listen to the content, their continually seeking places of honor. We can be wary of these in others and also be aware of their rise in ourselves. Jesus, who defined his position with the question – Whose son is Christ?, is worthy of the highest place of honor and instead chose to serve and give his life. Modeling for us the way to become servants from the heart.