This unnerving but amazing truth has been with us since the days of Jesus. Imagine religious leaders who “shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces.” (Matt 23:13)
Jesus said to such leaders, “You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to… You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.” (Matt 23:14-15) Ouch!
Jesus also said, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you.” (Matt 21:31)
How could one read the teaching of Jesus and reach any other conclusion? Heaven will be filled with humble people. Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3).
This should make those who strive to be religious more than a little nervous. Jesus’ first disciples focused too often on position, place, and power.
There’s a reason why Jesus had to say, “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them.” (Matt 6:1)
May we always walk before God and the broken in humility. There’s no other way!