Luke 11 verses 43 & 44. “Woe to you Pharisees, because you love the important seats in the synagogues and greetings in the market places. Woe to you, because you are like unmarked graves, which men walk over without knowing it.”
In this place our Lord speaks against the tendency to self-aggrandisement and distorted motives. The moment we promote ourselves we cease to promote the glory of God. Compare what Jesus says here in this passage with what He says in John 5 v 44.
Is not our Western world filled with people who appear on television or on posters in ways which draw attention to themselves? We live in a culture of celebrity and even in our Church activities we see the intrusion of a sense of self-importance. Preachers and Christian singers are often accorded star status. This is so different from the spirit of Jesus.
People watching the way some Christian leaders behave become desensitised to moral corruption. They begin to do what their hypocritical leaders do.
Jesus shows the effects of their behaviour by a metaphor used from their own law. According to Numbers 19 verses 11-22 to touch a dead body brought ceremonial defilement, which was why Jewish graves were usually well marked.
Ironically the leaders Jesus exposed in this passage behaved in such a way that this very behaviour made them like unmarked graves – dead inside and the conveyors of moral corruption to the public.
These are strong words and a serious reminder to us all not to be like an unmarked grave, in our hearts. The spiritual life we have should not be a ‘pretend’ life, but a real spiritual life that is the result of our relationship with Jesus.