“And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God.” (Luke 16:15)
Before Jesus arrived on the scene, the Pharisees ranked high in the opinion polls of their day. The average Jew could not help but be impressed by the long robes they wore and prayers they prayed. Of all the religious sects of the day, they appeared to be the most kosher.
Jesus saw them differently though. To Him, their biggest problem was that they acted so as to appear right in the eyes of men. They desired the praise of man more than the praise of God. They mistook human approval for God’s approval.
What does it profit us to have the whole world applaud us when God is unimpressed? Jesus came to live out the very opposite. He was willing to be despised and rejected of men, as long as He was pleasing to the Father. The crown He sought awaited Him at the right hand of the Father. Because He did not seek an earthly reward, He received a heavenly one.
Don’t live to look good before earthly eyes. Despise the fickle praise of men. God looks beyond the outward appearance. He sees what goes on within us. Though the outside of the cup is clean; He knows what’s inside. He is impressed by a pure heart, full of mercy and truth.